February 14, 2022
(FORT BLISS, Texas) — The 1st Armored Division delayed reporting Thursday morning in Fort Bliss, Texas, in response to an upcoming severe winter storm.
All non-mission essential personnel have an adjusted time to arrive at work by 11 a.m.
Based on reports with the El Paso Times publication, the upcoming winter storm is forecasted to bring rain, icy roads, moderate snow of 1 to 3 inches, and wind speeds of 35 mph. The temperature is expected to drop to as low as 17 degrees.
“There were a lot of conversations around the office today about what command would do regarding PT [physical training] and work call [time] with the incoming winter storm,” said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Brandy Herrmann with the 1st Armored Division.
“Thankfully, before we left, we were told PT was canceled, and just a little after 1700 [5 p.m.], we were told late reporting is authorized,” said Herrmann.
El Paso and Dona Ana counties, which includes Fort Bliss, will remain under a winter weather advisory from Wednesday at 8 p.m. to Thursday at 11 a.m.
Currently, there are no reported changes in operation of the installation’s entry gates. Fort Bliss Child Development Centers will have normal operating hours, and ongoing field training events will continue as planned.
However, several nearby El Paso school districts and colleges will close in anticipation of the winter storm. Colleges in the area, including the University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso Community College, and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, will operate remotely.
Similar conditions occurred in Fort Bliss last year with a winter storm occurring on Valentine’s Day with a low of 14-degree temperature after days of spring-like 70-degree weather. This was a part of the North American winter storm in February 2021 that hit Texans by surprise according to the Texas Tribune.
“Considering last year’s winter storm was much more serious than anticipated, I think this will keep many minds at ease throughout the night,” said Herrmann. “Even before I left, my supervisor talked to us about not rushing in and making sure we get to work safely versus quickly.”
To prepare for a winter storm, the Federal Office of Emergency Management and the Department of Public Health recommends driving slowly and maintaining distance from vehicles on the roads, avoiding unnecessary trips outside, wearing several layers of loose, warm clothing, bringing your pets and plants indoors, and ensuring that your households have adequate food and water.
Service members and civilian employees should contact their unit supervisors for additional guidance if they have concerns about safety. The Fort Bliss medical and dental facilities will contact their patients to reschedule appointments.
For updates, the Fort Bliss community can follow the U.S. National Weather Service El Paso Texas, the Texas Department of Transportation, the El Paso School District website, and the 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss Facebook and Twitter pages for any changes with the weather forecast and road conditions.