State agencies preparing for possible ice on Texas roads

Arctic storm could bring ice north of Houston

By Frank Espinoza - News Producer

AUSTIN - The Texas Department of Public Safety wants to keep everyone safe on the road as an arctic cold front heads towards Houston.

Forecasts indicate the possibility of ice on roads north of Houston. The ice could also pose a problem for drivers if it builds up on trees and electrical lines, causing power outages.

"As this winter storm moves into Texas, drivers may encounter freezing rain or sleet that could create extremely dangerous driving conditions," said DPS Director Steven McCraw. "We are urging drivers use extra caution in places where winter precipitation or ice are expected, and to monitor the changing weather conditions in their area."

The governor has activated the Texas Military Forces, including two teams, to pre-deploy to staging locations in Wichita Falls and Sherman Thursday.

Several other state agencies are also preparing to respond to this event, including the Texas Public Utility Commission, the Texas Department of Transportation, and the Texas Department of State Health Services.

DPS offers the following tips for staying safe during this weather event:

  • Avoid unnecessary travel if possible, and monitor local weather broadcasts.
  • Remember that ice forms first on bridges, overpasses and shady areas. If you hit a patch of ice, stay off your brakes and decelerate slowly, holding the steering wheel steady.
  • On icy roads, drive slowly, increase distance needed for stopping, and avoid using cruise control.
  • Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained before any trip - check fluid and antifreeze levels.
  • Keep your gas tank full to prevent water condensation in the tank.
  • Buckle up everyone in the vehicle - it's the law.

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