By Michael Jimenez
Not since 1985 has any significant amount of snowfall fallen in the city, but overnight San Antonio was paralyzed by just an inch of snowfall. After precipitation began to fall around 9 p.m. last night, police and transportation officials began closing streets and highways as a thin sheet of ice had developed causing a slew of accidents.
The snow began to fall around 1 a.m. as a winter storm mix swept across the city and surrounding counties. The snowfall was significant enough to turn the San Antonio skyline into a winter wonderland, even if just for a few short hours. By noon the snowfall accumulation was expected to be just a pool of water, as the city was expected to awaken and return to business as usual. However, as the noon approached, several major highway closures remained in effect, but preparations are currently underway to begin to open them up.
Some students and residents truly got to experience a snow day, as all major school districts in the city closed for the day and many area colleges and universities including Texas A&M-San Antonio were closed as well. It appeared after the overnight snowfall that the roads would be unusable or terribly unsafe for San Antonio drivers who are not accustomed to such hazardous driving conditions. Drivers were told to stay home, if possible.
Students of Texas A&M-San Antonio were well informed yesterday about a campus closure that began Thursday evening at 5 p.m. through 10 a.m. on Friday. Students were contacted by phone and given instructions to follow further updates online. The university has a weather hotline for updates in the event that situations change.
“I received the call about 4 PM that classes had been cancelled, and I had a class at 5, so I did not drive to campus unnecessarily,” said graduate student Krystal Escamilla.
On Interstate 10 West at Fredericksburg a pile up of twenty vehicles including a via bus and tractor trailer sent dozens to the hospital, just one of many accidents citywide that kept police busy throughout the night and into the early morning hours.
The news was not all bad as many across the city were excited by the snowfall and the chance to experience something that hasn’t occurred in our area in decades.
“I have seen snowfall before, but I’m excited to see it here in San Antonio,” said Escamilla.
Unlike laments over the driving conditions, spirits remained enthusiastic for the snow. The snowfall that often evades the citywide area was welcomed as an experience of a lifetime. One has to wonder when we will again see any sort of snowfall in the San Antonio area. While some will hope it will be another quarter century, there are quite a few who hope this is a sign of things to come.