Winter Storm Prompts Gov't Closure in Houston
    2014-01-29 01:38:58     Xinhua       Web Editor: Wang

Another winter storm swept through the southeast part of Texas Tuesday days after a major Arctic blast hit the area, prompting the state's largest city Houston to shut down most government operations and schools.

Houston Mayor Annise Parker announced late Monday that all non- public safety services would be closed ahead of the severe weather, including libraries, service centers, courts and park facilities. "Very reluctant to close city services today," Parker tweeted Tuesday, "but with all school districts closed it puts a burden on our working parents."

All schools in the Houston Independent School District canceled classes Tuesday as freezing drizzle and sleet moved across the Houston Metropolitan area Tuesday morning. Students, however, will have to make up the missed days, according to the Texas Education Agency.

In the city's two major airports, George Bush Intercontinental Airport and Hobby airport, more than 350 flights were canceled. Residents who are scheduled for flights out of the two airports were urged to contact their airline before making their way to the airport.

Fewer road wrecks were reported Tuesday than last Friday when there were more than 130 traffic accidents in a single morning due to icy conditions. Overpasses, bridges and other elevated portions of roadways in the city have been treated with de-icing material to prepare for possible problems. The Texas Department of Transportation spread 15,000 tons of magnesium chloride onto highways overnight.

Though the National Weather Service has downgraded the "winter storm warning" for the Houston area to an advisory, authorities are warning residents to use caution and try to stay off the road.

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