WINTER STORM - While the snow is coming to an end across much of the area this morning, there remains some concern of slick road conditions through
the morning commute, especially on elevated bridges and overpasses. With temperatures not expected to warm much through the early morning hours, the National Weather Service has extended the Winter Storm Watch and Winter Weather Advisory through 10:00 AM. The winter storm warning is for northwest Louisiana parishes including Caddo, Bossier, Webster, Claiborne, Lincoln, De Soto, Red River and Bienville. Other north Louisiana parishes affected include Jackson, Ouachita, Sabine, Natchitoches, Winn and Caldwell.
Snow has fallen throughout the Red River Radio listening including East Texas which is also under a Winter Storm Warning. South Arkansas is under a winter storm advisory meaning severe weather is possible. Currently weather radar indicates most of the snow is moving well to the east of Shreveport-Bossier. The weather warnings have been extended but are expected to be lifted by 10am.
Interstate I-49 in Shreveport and I-220 bypass are closed as bridges and overpasses have some accumulation of snow and possibly ice. Interstate 20 is currently open to traffic but motorists are urged to be cautious when crossing overpasses and bridges due to slick conditions that will remain throughout the day. Some exits have been closed due to snow accumulation.
CLOSURES - Most schools, colleges, and universities as well as public offices in Northwest and Central Louisiana are closed today due to the winter storm. However online classes may still be held for many schools so check your school website for updates.
Schools in Caddo, Bossier, Natchitoches, Webster, Red River, and Rapides Parishes schools are closed, El Dorado, Arkansas Schools will have a late start this morning, opening at 10:00 am. Buses will run 2 hours later than usual.
In East Texas: Schools in Marshall, Longview, Tyler, Carthage, and Jefferson are closed due to the winter storm and snow accumulation.
POWER OUTTAGES – There have been reports of power outtages. According AEP-SWEPCO - Approximately 58,000 SWEPCO customers are without power as heavy, wet snow blankets East Texas and Louisiana. More than 10,000 homes in Caddo Parish are without Power. Bossier Parish reports over 4500,
DeSoto Parish has over 3,500 outtages, Sabine Parish 2500+ Natchitoches Parish: 3,800
In East Texas: Harrison County reports over 3,000 homes without power. Panola County: 3,600.
Most outages are being caused by tree branches weighed down by snow coming into contact with a power line. Safety devices automatically de-energize the power lines when this occurs. Blown Transformers also have been reported in some neighborhoods.
You Report downed lines or power outtages to SWEPCO at 1-888-218-3919.
SAFETY TIPS - If you use a portable or RV generator, do not plug the generator into your circuit box. Portable generators “backfeed” electricity up the line and risk the lives of repair workers and the public. Follow the manufacturers' instructions carefully, do not use a generator indoors, in garages or close to the house as deadly carbon monoxide fumes can enter the home. And do not go near any downed power lines so as to avoid electrocution.