AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and The National Weather Service (NWS) announced that accumulating snowfall may impact drivers on their morning and afternoon commute to work on Monday, Nov. 14.
According to the TxDOT press release, maintenance crews in Amarillo’s District 17 countries treated roadways Friday and Saturday.
NWS said overnight, crews will patrol roadways to monitor conditions and respond as necessary throughout the event.
The counties that were pre-treated include: Armstrong, Carson, Dallam, Deaf Smith, Gray, Hansford, Hartley, Hemphill, Hutchinson, Lipscomb, Moore, Ochiltree, Oldham, Potter, Randall, Roberts, and Sherman
TxDOT said they are responsible for 9,503 lane miles and 840 bridges. Of the District’s 378 employees, 276 are dedicated to maintenance operations.
TxDOT’s priorities for snow and ice operations are:
- Roadways that affect the movement of interstate commerce
- Roads of high priority, locally or regionally
- Bridge decks, sharp curves, steep grades, intersections, and access points
- Routes near hospitals, emergency facilities, and schools
Prioritizing response helps first responders, as well as utility companies, to reach those in need. While TxDOT is prepared, it is equally important for drivers to be prepared:
- Assemble an emergency roadside kit. Travel with items including a first-aid kit, booster cables, abrasive materials (sand or cat litter), flashlights, warm clothes, snacks and water, shovel, and ice scraper.
- Check your vehicle’s battery, tires, and windshield wipers as well as ensure the vehicle has ample fuel to account for potential travel delays.
- Get plenty of rest before hitting the road. Never attempt to travel when fatigued or while under the influence of alcohol.
- Be familiar with directions ahead of time and let others know your route and expected arrival time.
- Check up-to-date road conditions at www.drivetexas.org or by calling (800) 452-9292. Traffic cameras for the Amarillo District can be found on that site, as well.
- Build in extra time to reach your destination to account for travel delays, practice patience, and share the road with others.
- In any situation, protect yourself by wearing your seat belt and ensuring everyone in the vehicle is buckled up.
- Always use caution when driving on icy or slick roads. Remember, bridges and overpasses are the first to freeze.
- Be sure to reduce your speed, increase your distance between other vehicles to at least three times the average following distance, and drive with caution.
- Keep a safe distance from snowplows and other TxDOT vehicles as they work to treat and clear roadways – Don’t Crowd the Plow!
- Do not use cruise control. Cruise control can quickly turn into “lose control” if you hit black ice or other areas that affect your vehicle’s traction.
- If you start to slide, ease off the gas pedal or brakes. Steer in the direction of the skid until you feel you have regained traction, straighten your vehicle.
- Move over a lane to create a safe margin of space when passing a vehicle on the side of the road with flashing lights, including tow trucks, disabled vehicles, law enforcement vehicles, emergency vehicles and TxDOT vehicles.