WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The winter storm is here bringing with it sleet and freezing rain and the potential for hazardous travel conditions.
The sound of sleet. For kids, it’s the sound of school being canceled but for others, it’s time to find out what the roads are like.
“We’re monitoring the forecast,” Wichita Falls Public Information Officer Chris Horgen said. “We’ve got tires on the streets, if you will, checking the roads to make sure they’re there and then the crews are ready to go.”
Some of the “tires on the streets” to help monitor the weather belong to the police department.
“We have a police force that’s on the roads all of the time so when we have weather like this, they are monitoring the roads for us and when they get slick spots when they start seeing accidents, dispatch will let our streets department know and they will jump into action,” Horgen said.
So city crews, starting with the more heavily populated streets, have been out since Monday morning trying to reduce the potential for accidents and stranded vehicles.
“All they can do right now is do the chat, which is a shale and stone mixture, it adds traction,” Horgen said. “It’s not a melting agent but it’ll give you a little pick-up as you go through intersections.”
But the city crews aren’t the only ones out pretreating the roads, as the crews at TxDOT are also hard at work.
“Our crews are out,” TxDOT Public Information Officer Adele Lewis said. “They are treating the roadways with more brine, rock-salt, they are putting down some aggregates like de-icing stone or sand, to give people traction and so right now we are just treating the roadways and trying to melt that sleet off of the road.”
While both are out working on the roads, they also want to make it clear, If you don’t have to be on the roads, stay home. The fewer vehicles on the road the less likely there will be multi-vehicle accidents. But if you do have to be on the roads drive slow to give you and others that extra margin of safety.