Sand trucks keeping Houston road safe during winter storm

By Phil Archer - Reporter
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HOUSTON - The sand trucks still have more work ahead of them, with another night of freezing temperatures ahead of us. The crews in those trucks are the key to you and your family staying safe on the roads.

There was ice on some Houston roads for a while Tuesday. Texas Department of Transportation sanding crews spread out all across Harris County, sanding down major freeway interchanges where ice formed as temperatures dropped Tuesday morning.

In Katy, the Grand Parkway overpass at I-10 was one place ice was spotted. Ice was also reported on most other freeway intersections as the temperature bottomed out around 11 a.m.

Michelle Cortez and her family were passing through from San Antonio on their way to a new home in Washington, D.C. They expected to drive through to Slidell, Louisiana, on Tuesday, but were reevaluating their plans after hearing there might be icy streets there.

"I'm not sure. My friend Tracy, she's trying to find other alternatives for us. She keeps texting us every five minutes," said Cortez.

There were fewer drivers than usual on Houston streets during rush hour Tuesday morning. With the storm coming, schools and government offices were closed. A lot of folks just stayed home.

Driving on ice doesn't bother Clint Collyer. He's from Dallas and gets more practice at it. But he said slick streets and freezing temperatures aren't what he expected to find in Houston.

"Houston, I'm shocked. I'm down here, my wife is at home and there's no ice, and I'm down here dealing with it. Blows me away. I'm supposed to come down here and go to the beach or something," Collyer said.

The temperature rose Tuesday afternoon, melting whatever ice had formed, but it's expected to get much colder. A predicted hard freeze could mean a dangerously slick drive for Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, so the sand trucks will be rolling as needed through the night.

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