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Austin appears to take brunt of Texas icing

By The Associated Press

This article was published January 28, 2014 at 3:36 p.m.

HOUSTON — Ice-glazed roads caused dozens of wrecks Tuesday as a line of moisture combined with frigid temperatures put normally balmy Central and Southeast Texas in the deep freeze for the second time in less than a week.

The most severe traffic problems appeared to be in the Austin area, where elevated decks of Interstate 35 and some flyover ramps were closed. Police reported more than 150 traffic wrecks throughout the area.

The University of Texas and other school districts delayed opening or shut for the entire day.

The freezing rain extended from west and north of San Antonio to Temple, across Bryan-College Station and Huntsville and east to Louisiana. A trace of snow was reported in Waco.

Jane Young, an 80-year-old pastor's wife, was driving in an unfamiliar corner of Austin before dawn when sleet began falling.

"As I drove, I prayed the whole way," she said. "I said, 'Lord, put your hands on mine and guide me. This is your car now.'"

She made it to her destination, a polling station where she was volunteering during a special election to fill a vacant Texas House seat.

"It was just so scary," she said.

Austin-area officials meeting about 3 a.m. were told icy conditions would not be bad, emergency management spokesman Jacob Dirr said. However, that changed after daybreak when it became obvious conditions had deteriorated.


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