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Ice chills Bastrop County with outages, damage

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Dangerous travel conditions and power outages have effectively frozen life for many Bastrop County residents

Closures and emergency updates were provided by local cities, school districts and electricity providers Wednesday, Feb. 1. Many services and local operations have paused amid freezing rain, sleet and other other winter weather that swept through the area. Freezing temperatures are expected to continue into the overnight hours.

Power Outages

More than a hundred thousand outages were reported throughout the region Wednesday for Oncor customers alone. Bluebonnet and other local electricity service providers were also reporting thousands of outages as trees or ice downed power lines and transforrmers blew throughout central Texas.

"Police officers saw sporadic flashes that appear to be transformers arcing in the central parts of the city," said Elgin city staff in an update Wednesday morning. "Electric outages should be reported to individual providers."

As of 3:45 p.m., Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative's outage map showed approximately 3,200 customers in Bastrop County were reported throughout the county. The co-op serves mostly rural Bastrop County.

Oncor had more than 1,400 Elgin residences without power late Wedesday afternoon. More than 400 homes didn't have electrcity north of Elgin and into Coupland, followed by another almost 100 homes near Beyersville. Approximately 15 homes in the McDade area were dark as well.

City of Elgin

As conditions worsened in the early morning hours Wednesday, Bastrop County Emergency Services District No. 2 responded to a rollover accidents near the intersection of S.H. 21 and U.S. 290. ESD staff reported that the bridge there had iced over.

Other reported damage has been mostly limited to downed or sagging tree limbs on roadways. As ice accumulates on tree limbs, the additional weight pulls downs the branches if not entire trees.

"Public works dispatched throughout the city and removed limbs and fallen trees from public right of way," added Elgin officials. "No requests for sheltering received."

City crews evaluated roadways in the city limits and determined all were passable. However, city staff added that "if you do not have an urgent reason to be on the road, please remain off the roads."

Addtional resources are as follows:

•  Electrical outager report information can be found at
•  Gas issues — CenterPoint Energy, 1-800-427-7142
•  Burst pipes — Attempt to turn off water in the house. If water needs to be turned off at the meter, call 512-661-8585. After hours emergencies can be called in to 512-661-8585, or go to for more.
•  Downed trees — Limbs that are blocking roads or sidewalks can be reported here and will be evaluated by City of Elgin. Any fallen trees on private property are the responsibility of the property owner.

City of Bastrop

Bastrop municipal offices were closed Wednesay but were expected to resume Thursday, Feb. 2. 

"Most city departments will have phone lines forwarded to staff, so residents and customers are encouraged to continue to do business as usual over email, phone, or other virtual services," said Bastrop city staff. "Take efforts to protect people, pets, pipes and plants during this event. City emergency personnel and public works crews are checking conditions and standing by."

Anyone who needs shelter, including homeles, can contact Roland A. Nava at 512-317-7503 for assistance.

The city also provided these other resources to consider:

• Police-related non-emergencies — Call 512-332-8600

• Gas issues — Contact CenterPoint Energy at 1-800-427-7142

• Burst pipes — Turn off water flow into the home at the shut-off valve located by the meter and then call a plumber to make the repair. If assistance is needed to get the water shut off, residents can call the City of Bastrop Utility Customer Service at 512-332-8830.

• Power Outages — To report power outages call City of Bastrop Utility Customer Service at 512-332-8830.

• Downed trees — Limbs that are blocking roads or sidewalks can be reported by calling City of Bastrop Public Works at 512-332-8920. Any fallen trees on private property are the responsibility of the property owner.

School closures

Bastrop and Elgin independent school districts announced that classes are canceled for Thursday, Feb. 2. The announcements came early Wednesday afternoon.

"Due to power outages and damage caused by the storm, and to allow for clean-up, Elgin ISD schools and facilities will be closed on Thursday," said Elgin ISD in an online statement. "All extracurricular and after-school activities will be canceled as well."

Bastrop ISD had hoped to have some classes on Thursday before deciding differently.

"We considered a delayed start for tomorrow," said Bastrop ISD officials, "but due to power outages in the area and the impact of early morning bus travel, we believe it’s in the best interest of all our staff and students to err on the side of caution, which is similar to our neighboring districts."

As of 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, there was no public announcement in regards to possible Thursday plans at McDade, Smithville and Coupland ISDs. All Bastrop County school districts were closed Wednesday due to icy road conditions and other effects from winter weather sweeping the area this week.

Other resources

• The 4 P's: People, Pets, Pipes, and Plants — City and county agencies remind everyone to take care of the aformentioned P's. if you are going out of town during this freeze, it's recommended to turn off the water to your home.

• Road Closures — Visit for local, state and highway road closures

•  Fender benders — If you can move the vehicles to a safe space, minor car crashes can be handled between the involved drivers, exchange information, take photographs and continue on. If vehicles are not drivable or there are injuries, call 911.

• Weather information — Visit for the latest area weather warnings and updates

• Sign up for local alerts at