City Departments Prepare for Potential Storm March 16-17

March 16, 2023

City Departments Prepare for Potential Storm March 16-17

The Austin-area forecast for Thursday afternoon, March 16, through early morning Friday, March 17, includes the potential for severe weather, with possible thunderstorms and high winds.

The National Weather Service is forecasting a 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 4 p.m. and windy conditions with gusts as high as 30 mph. Tonight there is a chance of showers and thunderstorms between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., then showers and possibly a thunderstorm after 10 p.m. Some of the storms could be severe. Winds could gust as high as 35 mph – there is currently a wind advisory in Travis County – with an 80 percent chance of precipitation, and hail possible up to 1 ½ inches.

City of Austin departments are preparing for the impact of the potential storm and the community is also urged to be aware, get ready, and stay safe.

March through May marks Severe Weather Season for Central Texas area. Throughout this season we urge the community to be weather aware and take steps to prepare in advance.

Austin 3-1-1

To report current flooding issues, traffic signals out, or debris in the roadway, residents can call Austin 3-1-1 or 512-974-2000.

Austin Public Works crews are on standby to respond to weather-related 3-1-1 requests during the duration of the storm, including clearing tree limbs and debris blocking streets to ensure access for emergency services vehicles.

Austin Energy

Severe weather could cause outages if limbs and branches connect with power lines. Austin Energy is preparing crews to respond to the potential weather and outages.

Outages can be reported at, by texting OUT to 287846 or by calling 512-322-9100.

Stay Safe Around Downed Power Lines

  • Consider all wires energized and dangerous. Even de-energized lines may become energized at any time.
  • Stay at least 35 feet away from downed lines.
  • Never touch a downed power line or anything in contact with a power line.
  • Never use any object to move a downed wire.

Downed power lines can be reported by calling 512-322-9100. Find more safety tips at

Be Prepared

Power outages can happen for a variety of different reasons, severe weather being one of them. Here are ways to be prepared, no matter the situation:

Spring Festival Season and SXSW

SXSW has announced that SXSW Community Concerts will be moving this evening’s KUTX Rockin’ Near The Shores show from Lady Bird Lake to Ballroom A of the Austin Convention Center, at 500 E Cesar Chavez St. The show will begin at the new location at 6 p.m. For more information about SXSW events follow their Twitter account @sxsw.

The City urges unpermitted or unofficial events to monitor weather and adjust any outdoor plans or installations for safety of staff and attendees.

City crews have been working since Wednesday evening to secure temporary traffic control signs and barricades. Additional sandbags were deployed Thursday morning across the City, but strong winds could still overcome those efforts. People in the area should use caution when strong winds are imminent.

Preparedness Tips from the City’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management

Below are some essential emergency preparedness steps and tips for severe weather.

Protect your property: Secure loose items such as outdoor furniture and garden tools that could become dangerous projectiles during high winds. Keep trees trimmed to prevent damage from falling branches.  

Seek shelter: If severe weather is approaching, seek shelter in a safe location such as an interior room on the lowest level of your home. Go to the safest location in your home such as a room with no windows or exterior walls.  

Turn off utilities: Know how to turn off gas, water, and electricity in case of an emergency.  

For all emergencies

Make a plan: Create an emergency plan with your family that includes designated meeting spots and emergency contacts. Make sure everyone knows what to do and practice your plan.

Build an emergency kit: Prepare an emergency kit with essentials such as non-perishable food, a flashlight, water, first-aid supplies, and any necessary medications. Don't forget to include supplies for pets. 

Know Your Neighbors: By knowing your neighbors and building a strong network, you can increase your community's readiness level in an emergency.

Stay informed: Keep your cell phone charged or a battery-powered radio to monitor local weather conditions. Sign up for emergency notifications from to receive important information during emergencies.

Check out for more emergency preparedness planning information. Download the Ready Central Texas app on your smartphone.

Save for emergency preparedness information in multiple languages.

Sign up for regional emergency alerts at