TxDOT warns Brazos Valley residents of icy road conditions
BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - As rain mixes with below freezing temperatures in some areas of the Brazos Valley, it’s important to stay safe while traveling on the roads.
TxDOT’s Bryan District is working around the clock to prepare the roads for winter weather. They will brine roadways across their 10 counties starting Monday.
Bob Colwell, TxDOT Bryan Public Information Officer, told KBTX they will continue 24-hour services until the winter storm is over.
“We’re preparing for the worst and hoping for the best,” said Colwell. “We just want everyone to do their part as well. Please go slow and be cautious. Use some extra common sense while we’re out there.”
Colwell said if you don’t need to be on the roadways, then avoid driving due to potential icy roads.
“It looks like heading into [Tuesday] and the morning we’re going to get the brunt of the storm. If you must go, we ask you to use caution,” said Colwell. “This means on any elevated surfaces, bridges, overpasses. Those are the things that tend to ice first. Don’t use your cruse control. As always, buckle up when you get into a car, it’s the law and it’s the easiest thing to do to protect ourselves when we get in a vehicle.”
If you are traveling, TxDOT says its important to make sure your vehicle is equipped. When it comes to winter storms, one place that remains busy is Carquest Auto Parts in Hearne.
General Manager, Efrain Sanchez, said he’s helped several people on Monday make sure their car is drivable in these conditions.
“We get people who pass by here a lot. I mean Hearne is the main road for all directions. So, people stop by and say ‘my vehicle didn’t start can you check my battery?’ or ‘do you have any products that can get me where I need to go,’” said Sanchez. “We try to help everyone we can.”
Sanchez said he understands the influx in customers because Texans normally aren’t used to icy roads or winter weather in general.
“It’s best to always have your vehicle ready for any conditions,” Sanchez said. “Make sure the battery is good, sometimes it goes quicker or dies when its cold. Also, look at your tire pressure. Ask yourself, are they up to standard codes? We carry deicers for windshields. If people want to stop by, we can figure out if your car is ready to go. There’s a lot to it.”
On Tuesday morning, Bob Colwell with TxDOT told KBTX that Robertson County is the only area so far with reports of icing.
“We are still going around and spraying brine and will be doing so until the storm is over,” said Colwell. “We thought it was going to be the worst on Tuesday morning but it turns out that the storm is slower than anticipated. It’s moving towards the south. So just because you don’t see ice now, doesn’t mean you won’t tomorrow. ”
As we head into Wednesday, Colwell said Brazos Valley residents need to prepare.
“The main thing is that if you don’t have to be anywhere don’t leave your house. Those who do need to travel, please stay cautious even if your area doesn’t have icing on the roads. Any bridges, overpasses or shaded areas will create ice first. Watch your road conditions. Buckle up like always and take some extra time. It’s better to arrive late than to not arrive at all.”
For more information on Carquest Auto Parts, click here.
For more information on road conditions near you, visit here.
In preparation for the winter storm, the Brazos County Road and Bridge department sanded down all the county bridges Monday and Tuesday.
On Wednesday crews for Brazos County Road and Bridge were on emergency standby as rain poured down on Brazos County and parts of the Brazos Valley.
“We are always on standby, but something like if we already know there’s inclement weather all our crews that are on the emergency list, that have been on the approved emergency list, have been notified that they might be called at a drop of a hat and they need to be prepared for that,” Prarthana Banerji, Brazos County Engineer said.
Brazos County Road and Bridge Crews work with the Brazos County Sheriff’s office to identify potential issues like fallen trees or ice, Banerji said.
“They have not really noticed much activity,” Banerji said. “There is some icing, sleet that’s more towards the northern not western part of the county. Towards the South, it’s more rain, but with temperatures hovering right above freezing we just want people to have caution well their driving if they have to be out there.”
Multiple Brazos County School districts canceled classes and even the county closed down for the weather.
“Everybody wants to make sure their employees, children, everybody is safe,” Banerji said. “Sometimes these predictions are not exact. Sometimes they can get even worst than what is predicted. It’s always better like as we did to be on the side of caution and not venture outside if you don’t have to.”
The aftermath of the winter storm left roads wet for drivers in the Brazos Valley.
College Station Fire Department told KBTX they responded to eight major accidents and one cold exposure since Tuesday.
Even though the weather may be clearing out, College Station Fire Captain Stuart Marrs said it’s important for drivers to stay cautious while traveling on the current roadways, even if they’re clear of ice and just wet.
“The first thing is, it’s great to just slow down. Go 10 miles under the speed limit. Taking it nice and easy so you can get where ever your headed early. You can sit on your phone and check emails, social or make phone calls. Its better to get there early and safely.”
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