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Weather_TNLast Updated 2:15 p.m., Wednesday, February 2, 2011

MISSION — Residents across Hidalgo County woke up Wednesday morning without electricity on the first day of some of the coldest temperatures predicted for the week.

Officials with the La Joya school district on Tuesday announced classes would start two hours later than normal today to accommodate families adjusting to the weather change. The dismissal time will remain the same, staff said. Wednesday morning it was still unclear if the change would remain for Thursday.

Sharyland Independent School District officials said they’d have a schedule change for Thursday.

Campus start times will be delayed by two hours. Bus pickup time will be delayed two hours from the normal pick up times, as well. Parents are urged to make arrangements for the delay. Dismissal time will remain the same as usual for all schools.

The following schedule times apply only to SISD pre-k classes: Morning pre-k classes will be from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Afternoon pre-k pick-up will be at 11 a.m. and classes will be from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Officials at the Mission school district on Wednesday morning did not report any schedule changes.

“Mission CISD officials are closely monitoring the weather forecasts and will closely watch conditions during the current winter weather event,” administrators said. “Should conditions warrant a change to school schedules, all attempts will be made to notify our community as soon as possible through the tools available to the district.”

MCISD officials reported power outages at some of their schools, but said the students were safe and warm, continuing instruction.

The power outages Wednesday morning affected thousands here as a way to prevent a total blackout as residents across the state try to stay warm.

According to the Associated Press, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas ordered rotating electrical outages to compensate for a power shortage.

These outages were conducted in neighborhood clusters, lasting about 10 minutes in some areas to 45 minutes in others. The ERCT region includes the Rio Grande Valley, along with Austin, Houston, Dallas-Ft. Worth, San Antonio, Corpus Christi and Abilene. This amounts to about 22 million customers.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Barry Goldsmith on Tuesday morning said the worst was yet to come.

“Wintry looking overcast will begin thickening later today,” he said. “Temperatures should edge toward 40, but may not make it; winds will drop a little bit by afternoon but it will still feel like only 28 to 34 degrees.”

Mixed precipitation is predicted to begin Thursday. The type of precipitation still looks to be snow and sleet mixed. Light accumulations are likely in Hidalgo County, especially on untreated elevated surfaces. In steadier precipitation, temperatures will fall to 30 and stay there. Otherwise, highs will reach 32 to 36. Heavier precipitation is looking more likely Thursday night.

Shelters Opening

La Joya ISD has opened two shelters due to expected temperatures in the low-20s Wednesday evening.

The Domingo Treviño Middle School gymnasium, located at 301 South Inspiration Road in Alton and the old Juarez-Lincoln High School gymnasium, located at 801 North Coyote Drive in La Joya, are now open to the public.

The Progres Times will update our website as we receive information from our local cities.

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