Ice covers western parts of Travis, Williamson Counties

A house fire Wednesday morning, between Lago Vista and Leander, was caused by a space heater. Two residents were hurt and hospitalized, according to Travis County ESD 1 Battalion Chief Chris Sukup.

"When using space heaters in your home, you need to make sure you are using them smart, diligently. No propane space heaters need to be inside. And if they are, if you can't help it, then you need to run the tube outside and just have the heating element. But monitor them, make sure they are turning off and on, cause that's the number one cause of fires in the winters," said Battalion Chief Sukup.

The ESD1 firefighters were also lumberjacks. They cleared off roadways with chainsaws after ice-covered trees fell over. A kayak paddle, not a chainsaw, is how Darren McDaniel took the weight off his trees.

"I’m not making much headway," said McDaniel.


Several trees in McDaniel’s Cedar Park neighborhood didn’t make it. Many continued to fall throughout the morning.

"It hit about 3 a.m. and you could hear the trees start to collapse. It started off as a solid rain, but you could see it turn to ice quickly," said McDaniel.

Some trees were uprooted, others split at the trunk or had limbs break off under the weight of the ice.

SkyFOX Drone shows how the ice storm coated the tree canopy across Williamson County. We were able to get close to breaks at the top and see how some trees leaned over roadways causing a low hanging hazard for drivers.  The scene now, for some, is similar to the small freeze just before the big winter storm in 2021

"I think ice is the worst of it, and I don’t think we dodge a bullet at all, I think we got more than what I was expecting, so it’s pretty bad," said Cedar Park resident Dennis Doye.

An example of the unexpected includes what happen to this porch screen. A clear view, after a full thaw, may have to wait until Friday.