TxDOT plans for wintry conditions heading our way


De-icing operations have been deployed, targeting elevated structures such as bridges and overpasses.

Last Friday's winter storm lead to icy, slippery roads, especially on those bridges, overpasses and freeway interchanges. About 500 weather-related accidents were reported on Friday alone, compared the normal total of a slightly more than 120 crashes on a typical day.

TxDOT says because this storm is expected to be worse, they will have a major effort underway, with teams of crews lead by police escorts spreading magnesium chloride ahead of the storm and then a salt/rock mixture as the storm moves in.

Houston Mayor Annise Parker says this is something the city is taking very seriously.

"Once the snow falls and it kind of packs down you can drive on it. Rain that becomes ice just is a slick sheet like glass. We will do our best to let Houstonians know the exact conditions they can expect," Mayor Parker said.

The Texas Department of Transportation says drivers should use the following safety tips when heading out on the roadways:

  • Reduce speed. Speed limits are based on normal road and weather conditions, not winter road conditions.
  • Maintain at least three times the normal following distance.
  • Use extra caution on bridges, ramps, overpasses and shaded areas as they tend to freeze first.
  • If you start to slide, ease off the gas pedal or brakes. Steer into the direction of the skid until you feel you have regained traction then straighten your vehicle.

Stay with Eyewitness News and abc13.com for the very latest on the winter weather. Download the ABC13 weather app to get audio alerts when they're issued for your area, an interactive street-level weather map, hourly forecast and more. Get it for iPhone or Android.

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