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  • Now it looks a lot like winter (GALLERY)

    jillian phillips steptoePHOTO COURTESY OF JILLIAN PHILLIPS STEPTOE A winter storm blew through Trinity County on Sunday, chilling noses and toes and creating pastoral scenes.

    Special to the News Standard

    A winter storm unloaded more snow in Texas than some areas have received in decades at the end of the weekend.

    The snow, stretched all the way from the northernmost parts of Colorado beginning Saturday, to eastern Texas by Sunday, according to Accuweather.

    The swath of heaviest snow, with 6-9 inches of accumulation in 24 hours, stretched from near Lubbock to Abilene and just west of Waco, which received 4.4 inches of snow on Sunday, making it the highest snowfall total the city has received since 1982 and the 10th highest 24-hour snowfall total on record, according to the National Weather Service.

    Snow-covered, slippery roadways were reported throughout the region, including along some of the major highways such as interstates 20 and 35.

    But for those who didn't need to travel, the snow was mostly fun and games.

    AccuWeather National News Reporter Bill Wadell interviewed some residents of Stephenville, Texas, who told him they haven't seen this much snow in years. Some residents were seen using the hood of a car as a sled for multiple people. Stephenville reported 8 inches of snow by Sunday evening.

    The worst of the storm stayed to the south of Dallas, where a rain and snow mix throughout Sunday led to only a trace of snow accumulating.

    Farther south, however, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott posted a video on Twitter showing snow covering the grounds of the Governor's Mansion in the capital city of Austin. The city officially reported 1.3 inches at the Austin–Bergstrom International Airport, but just north of town, 3-5 inches of snow was reported.

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  • Schools close Monday due to winter weather

    20210110 163421STEPHANIE PETERS Jadyn Phillips enjoys a snow day Sunday at the Onalaska Park. Snow accumulation in Polk County prompted school district superintendents in the county to cancel classes on Monday. The six districts – Big Sandy, Corrigan-Camden, Goodrich, Leggett, Livingston and Onalaska – returned to class on Tuesday.

    By Jason Chlapek

    All six Polk County school districts – Big Sandy, Corrigan-Camden, Goodrich, Leggett, Livingston and Onalaska – were closed Monday because of winter weather.

    Much of the county received snow or sleet Sunday afternoon and evening, which prompted school district superintendents to make decisions to close on Monday. According to C-CISD superintendent Richard Cooper, it was better to be safe than sorry.

    “In situations like this, I like to err on the side of caution,” Cooper said. “It only takes one bridge with ice on it to cause problems for a bus. It’s not US 59, it’s our county roads and farm-to-market roads.”

    Each school district decided by Sunday evening to cancel school on Monday. One district, Leggett, was anticipating a late start, but decided against it once it was determined that road conditions were unsafe.

    “We decided at 6 p.m. Sunday to not have school,” Cooper said. “I reside on the south end of our district in Moscow and we were getting sleet and snow at that point. My transportation director drove the roads in our district and noted more snow and sleet on the north and west sides of our district.”

    Cooper, who is in his second year as superintendent of C-CISD, said this was the first time his district had to cancel school because of winter weather. In his previous stop at Garrison, he had to cancel for winter weather once.

    “I’ve been (at C-CISD) for two years, but the last time we had to cancel was before I got here,” Cooper said. “We had some sleet and ice when I first got to Garrison in January 2016.”

    All six districts returned to school on Tuesday. Cooper said his district started two hours late.

    “We started two hours later because roads were still wet,” he said. “It was 26 degrees Monday night so we wanted to see a little more traffic on the roads before we put buses on them. We had no incidents so it worked.”

    Cooper also said that although much of the snow was melted Sunday night, the roads were wet and perfect for ice formation with a freeze. He ultimately decided to play it safe.

    “It warmed up enough on Monday that melted it, but all bridges were wet by Sunday night and they were frozen by Monday morning,” Cooper said. “You have to put the safety of students, parents and staff first when making those decisions.”