Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Hide your plants, hide your pipes

Juan Martinez stood with his back firmly planted against the wind, hands stuffed into the pockets of his gray hooded sweatshirt. Martinez, a construction worker on the Belo Center for New Media, kept a positive attitude, basking in the midday sun after a cold, cloudy morning.

“You don’t understand, I’ve been out here since 5:00 a.m.,” Martinez said. “It can always
be worse.”

Austin experienced a midday low of 32 degrees Tuesday with winds upward of 25 mph, according to The Weather Channel, and a hard freeze was expected last night.

While Martinez stood guard by the barricades blocking off the north side of Whitis Avenue from traffic, other construction workers ate lunch in their cars, the hum of their exhaust indicating a reliance on electric heat.

For some of the workers, the cold is far from the worst of their worries.

“It’s the wind,” said Javier Castelan, another construction worker on the Belo project. “The crane isn’t operating today because it can really be scary being up there with the wind whipping around you.”

The wind affected students getting to class as well.

According to a statement from Austin Energy, gusts of wind of up to 40 mph caused citywide power outages. Power was restored to all customers by 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

“The only good thing is there’s the prospect of snow or ice that can cancel school,” said biomedical engineering sophomore Marissa Ruehle.

For Kristin Schroter, a procurement and payment services staffer, the cold offers no benefits.
“There’s an overall malaise when it gets cold,” she said. “I don’t want to exercise. I don’t want to move at all.”

Austin’s projected forecast for the remainder of the week promises more cold temperatures, with highs in the mid-30s and lows in the teens, but little evidence of possible precipitation. By the weekend, the temperature is expected to rise to highs in the low 60s with sunny skies.

In Dallas, frozen streets and high winds have shut down much of the metroplex. Local weather alerts warned Dallas residents of winter storms, hard freezes and a wind chill until at least Thursday.

Much of the country, in a strip stretching from Oklahoma to Maine, is also facing severe snow storms this week.

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Hide your plants, hide your pipes