AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the National Weather Service (NWS) announced that the chance of snow in the Amarillo area on Thursday and across the Panhandle is declining but the area could still see snowfall.
According to a TxDOT press release, as of now, the Panhandle is at risk for snowfall from 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 24 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26.
Officials said that the Amarillo area is looking at a high of four inches of snow, Canadian could see up to 1 inch, Dalhart up to 2 inches, and Hereford seeing the post with up to 5 inches possible.
TxDOT informs drivers that maintenance crews in the Amarillo District’s 17 counties: Armstrong, Carson, Dallam, Deaf Smith, Gray, Hansford, Hartley, Hemphill, Hutchinson, Lipscomb, Moore, Ochiltree, Oldham, Potter, Randall, Roberts, and Sherman pretreated roadways Tuesday.
Officials said staff will patrol roads throughout the winter event and treat them as necessary.
TxDOT advised drivers that if local roads are snow-covered, drivers are advised to stay home, if possible. Roadway conditions can change rapidly, even with proactive measures. TxDOT encourages drivers, to check weather forecasts and visit DriveTexas.org to see conditions and closures on their planned route.
TxDOT’s priorities for snow and ice operations are:
- Roadways that affect the movement of interstate commerce
- Roadways 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 belts 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 normal 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 into the direction of the skid until you feel you have regained traction, then 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.