The parking lot of a San Antonio grocery store was full as shoppers picked up last-minute items before the market closed four hours earlier.
For Zoe Waldron, 30, the polar vortex and gray skies made her nostalgic for La Conner, Washington, her hometown. But in San Antonio? “It sounds like a once in a lifetime event,” she says.
Ms Waldron’s boyfriend Patrick Attwater, 34, visited the couple’s home in Austin on Saturday to heat it up to 65 degrees and let the faucets drip, insurance against pipe splinters as temperatures are expected go down to single digits on Sunday night. , forecasters said. “I’m from Kansas,” he says. “When we look at our family up there, it’s minus 20, so we feel luckier here.”
Parts of the Gulf Coast of Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi are quite familiar with brutal weather conditions: hurricanes, flooding, heavy summer heat. But the single-digit temperatures and icy roads were completely different.
In Mississippi, officials told residents they should likely stay off the roads at least until Tuesday. They warned that local authorities were not as equipped as those in northern states which regularly encounter such winter conditions.
“We have plows on our trucks, but it’s not the kind you have up north that’s really designed to put weight on that plow and dig in and out of the road,” said Melinda McGrath, manager. general Mississippi Department of Transportation. “We don’t invest in these areas because it only happens once every five years or so.
Business owners would review the forecast and decide whether or not to close. Jeff Good, who owns three restaurants in and around Jackson, Mississippi, said two of his restaurants remained open Sunday night, but the third, a bakery that would open early, would likely be closed on Monday. “With the weather forecast tonight at midnight, we just can’t see how we can make a 6am open,” Mr. Good said.