No relief yet: Winter blast unabated in Brownwood

Steve Nash
Brownwood Bulletin
South Brownwood yards are pictured earlier blanketed with snow.

Just over 1,600 electricity customers were without power late Tuesday morning in Brown County as the frigid winter weather continued across Texas. 

Area school districts were either closed Tuesday or using remote learning, and the Howard Payne University campus was closed Monday and Tuesday. Cell phone service was disrupted Tuesday morning.

Freezing rain, sleet and snow were possible in Brown County on Tuesday night, the National Weather Service in San Angelo said.

The forecast for the rest of the week, according to the weather service:

Wednesday

A slight chance of snow and freezing rain before noon. Cloudy and cold, with a high near 30. Wind chill values between 18 and 23. Southeast wind 5 to 10 mph becoming north in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Wednesday night

Mostly cloudy, with a low around 16. Wind chill values between 1 and 11. North wind around 10 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.

Thursday

Partly sunny and cold, with a high near 28. North wind 10 to 15 mph.

Thursday night

Mostly clear, with a low around 12. North northwest wind 5 to 10 mph becoming light and variable in the evening.

Friday

Sunny, with a high near 47. Light and variable wind becoming south 5 to 10 mph in the morning.

Friday night

Mostly clear, with a low around 27. South wind 5 to 10 mph.

Saturday

Sunny, with a high near 57. South wind 5 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.

Saturday night

Partly cloudy, with a low around 40. South wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.

Sunday

Mostly sunny, with a high near 61.

Sunday night

Mostly clear, with a low around 32.

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Because of the power outages, the City of Brownwood opened the Depot Civic Center on Monday as a daytime warming center, and opened the Adams Street Community Center on Tuesday as a warming center through 8 p.m. 

The city also announced Brown County Home Solutions has set up an emergency warming shelter at 1101 Ave. D, and will be open 24 hours a day.

Also Tuesday, the city and Brown County Water Improvement District announced there was not a water shortage in Brownwood. The Brown County Water Improvement District Water Treatment Plant fluctuated between having and not having power throughout the day on Monday. On Monday night, Oncor restored power to the plant, and it has been running since then. 

At the Brown County Home Solutions shelter, the 24-hour operation will continue "until this is over," director Linda Heitman said. Twenty people spent the night there Tuesday.  Six were at the shelter Tuesday morning, Heitman said.

The shelter has heat and a gas cook stove but no electricity, Heitman said.

The Cotton Patch restaurant brought lunch to the shelter Monday, and a volunteer brought food Monday night, Heitman said.

Heitman said she’s never seen a winter storm in Texas like this one. “This definitely reminds me of my times up north,” Heitman said. “This is just insane — the fact that it is all over the state. 

“In Abilene, they’ve lost their water. And so has Eastland. I guess we’re really fortunate — we haven’t lost our water. “

Brownwood Police Chief Ed Kading said the roads have been “pretty passable. We haven’t had many crashes at all. It got a little busy Monday night. We had some domestic disturbances.

“Each night we make plenty of rounds to all the normal places we would find people who are homeless or struggling and try to get as many people over to the shelter as we can."