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Snow storm turns Bastrop County into winter wonderland

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    Photo submitted by Christine Bega Hernandez
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    Photo submitted by Alvis Prince
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    A Dallas Cowboys-themed snowman. Photo submitted by Amanda Segura
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    Photo submitted by Brian Lundgren
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    Photo submitted by Lisa Day
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    Xavier Ramirez built a snowman of Master Chief from the video game Halo. Photo submitted by Ronald Ramirez

Bastrop County enjoyed a snow day on Sunday as part of a winter storm that swept across the Hill Country and central Texas.

Early on Saturday morning, the National Weather Service (NWS) for the Austin and San Antonio area issued a special weather statement regarding a possible mix of rain and snow on Sunday afternoon and evening. A winter storm watch was in effect in Burnet, Williamson and Lee counties, where one to two inches of snow was expected with isolated amounts up to three inches. The statement also predicted that snow could mix in with the rain that afternoon and evening farther south, including across the Austin metro area.

Then, on Saturday afternoon, NWS placed a winter weather advisory in effect from 6 a.m. Sunday until midnight for Gillespie, Blanco, Hays, Travis and Bastrop counties. The advisory predicted snow accumulations of up to an inch, as well as hazardous travel conditions.

Late Sunday morning, it began snowing in Elgin as the storm moved southeast across the Austin region, eventually covering most of Bastrop County by that afternoon. That afternoon at 1:54 p.m., NWS placed a winter storm warning for Bastrop County in effect until midnight, predicting heavy snow, slippery road conditions and accumulations of up to two inches.

Finally, on Sunday evening, NWS issued another special weather statement as the snow, sleet and rain came to an end. Temperature lows were expected to fall between 28 and 33 degrees that night across the area that saw snow, and some locations could see slick spots on roadways overnight as temperatures fall to near or below freezing, the statement predicted. Temperatures would rise above freezing areawide by 10 a.m., according to the statement.

Ultimately, 2.5 inches of snow were recorded in Coupland, the NWS announced on Monday morning.

The Bastrop County Office of Emergency Management announced on their Facebook page at noon on Sunday that they were getting reports of ice on the roadways. They also reported that first responders were working numerous accidents on Highway 290, Highway 71, Highway 21, Highway 95 and FM 969. The office asked people to stay off the roads if possible, and that those who must travel to slow down and leave plenty of space between vehicles.

The Elgin Volunteer Fire Department also reported multiple vehicles running off the roadway and advised people to stay indoors on Sunday.

Due to the inclement weather and road conditions throughout the county, Elgin ISD first announced a two-hour delay, then closed its schools for the entire day on January 11. Most McDade ISD students would be learning remotely on January 11; however, school was first delayed for on-campus learning, then was moved to remote learning on Monday for all students, even those who must participate in in-seat learning. Bastrop ISD and Smithville ISD also had a two-hour delayed start on Monday.