H-E-B reduces hours due to weather, while Twitter reports long lines, empty shelves

Amanda O'Donnell
Austin American-Statesman
Shoppers line up at Bastrop H-E-B before an 8 a.m. opening on Sunday. The store compressed its hours of operation to give staff additional time to stock products which are selling out quickly amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Editor's note: The Statesman is making this story about Austin winter weather free for everyone to read as a public service. If you don't already, please subscribe today at

H-E-B announced Saturday plans to reduce store hours at locations across Texas in coming days amid uncharacteristically severe winter weather hitting the state. 

In a press release, the grocery chain said it would "continue to closely monitor the situation and will resume regular hours as soon as possible." H-E-B also warned that weather conditions, which have created icy roads and dangerous driving conditions, "may delay product deliveries to our stores, which could temporarily impact supply of certain products."

If the news has you considering opting for an H-E-B curbside or delivery order, that also might be a little more difficult in the coming days. According to the press release, customers can expect to see fewer open time slots for both curbside pickup and grocery delivery. The store promised to try and fulfill orders that have already been placed, saying customers whose orders are impacted will be contacted directly.

In Austin and surrounding Central Texas H-E-B locations, stores will open at 6 a.m. Sunday and close at 7 p.m.. On Monday, stores will open at 9 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. A full list of hours by region can be found, here

H-E-B's announcement comes at the same time the store's name was trending on Twitter with more than 11,000 tweets, many of which mentioned the long lines and empty shelves indicative of busy store locations and the frosty journeys to get there. The online conversation brought in a mix of H-E-B employees, those applauding their stamina, determined shoppers and those warning them to stay home. 

Abbott asks for federal aid with statewide disaster declaration, warns drivers to stay home

Here's a sample of what people were saying:

Locally, numerous car accidents were reported in the Austin area Saturday morning, including a rollover in which a person was pinned under wreckage. The accident could not be accessed by emergency crews immediately because of weather conditions. 

Brace for the worst on Sunday, forecaster says

And things are expected to get worse. University of Texas meteorology lecturer Troy Kimmel told the American-Statesman Saturday that residents should expect conditions to worsen in coming days with freezing rain compounding ice on the roads. 

If you can, you should avoid getting on the roads, officials warn. Got a few canned or dry goods on hand? Here are a few tips on cooking with pantry staples. If you absolutely must drive, review these tips for driving on ice beforehand