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Ice storm grips Hill Country

By Stephanie Day

Emergency Management Coordinator Ralph Dresser was too busy on Tuesday, Jan. 16, to return phone calls as he worked with the Bandera County Sheriff’s Department to keep residents safe as a mixture of ice, sleet and snow fell and added to the already iced roads. Roads in Bandera County had up to a quarter-of-an-inch of ice on them and many of them closed. It was impossible to get from Bandera to Kerrville or from FM 1283 to SH 16 south using Park Road 37.

By 1 p.m., most Bandera County roads were closed and the sheriff’s department said it was reminiscent of the 2002 Flood in that every community became separated by road conditions, islands in and of themselves.

Bandera Electric Cooperative released a request for its members to conserve electricity and warned that blackouts were possible. The Boerne area was running at capacity for available electric power. Member Service Director Stephen Williams said that Bandera County should be okay.

From banks to restaurants, what businesses opened on Tuesday closed early. For the first time since it began offering buffets, the OST Restaurant had no buffet on Tuesday. It closed at 1 p.m.

County offices ran with skeletal crews and some were closed totally because employees from Medina and the western part of the county could not get to work.

It was 24 degrees in Vanderpool and weatherman Stuart Haby said that ice coated everything, holding homeowners hostage in their own homes.

All Bandera County schools were closed, along with Utopia and the Medina Children’s home.

No one answered the phone at the Silver Sage Corral Senior Activities Center.