Freezing Weather Beginning to Shut Down Area Highways [Updated]

Area HOV lanes already shut down and patches of ice are being spotted on numerous freeway overpasses.
Area HOV lanes already shut down and patches of ice are being spotted on numerous freeway overpasses. Google Maps Screengrab
Updated 1:35 p.m.

The Transtar Traffic Map is lit up like a Christmas tree out there with road and highway closures all across the region. The worst of it appears to be north and west of the city, but there have been numerous spots reported near town as well. Icy overpasses and bridges are perhaps the greatest concern, but there are patches of ice on side streets as well, particularly under overhanging trees where the ground is colder.

As we head toward rush hour, there is a growing concern for those who went into work today but could face extremely hazardous conditions on the way home. Transtar is keeping a running list of road and street closures on its website. Do not drive unless absolutely necessary and avoid freeways. Conditions are expected to deteriorate, not improve, as even colder weather descends on Houston into the evening.

Original Post

Large stretches of area highway HOV lanes have already closed down for the day as frozen precipitation falls across the region. From I-45 South up U.S. 69 North to I-10  and portions of U.S. 69 south, the first signs of the latest winter storm are showing on area roadways before what is expected to be the worst to come later in the morning on Tuesday.

Some small patches of freeway including 10 inside the loop at Washington and Studemont as well as on the Gulf Freeway at Dixie Farm Road have been closed due to icing on overpasses. Areas north of the city are seeing closures as well as Harris County warns the worst is still ahead.

As of 9 a.m., freezing rain and sleet were falling across the Houston area and more was coming including some likely patches of snow. Temperatures were below freezing all the way down to near Galveston and virtually everywhere north of Interstate 10 was in the 20s.

With temperatures forecast to remain below freezing all day, it is only a matter of time before many roadways become impassable. The best thing you can do is stay off of area highways and, if possible, roads altogether, as the situation will undoubtedly get worse before getting better.
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Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke