Categorized | Weather and Environment

New year to bring freezing temperatures, possible icy roads

FROM STAFF REPORTS

A mix of rain and possible freezing temperatures could cause icy road conditions late Jan. 1 into early Jan. 2.

In preparation, the Texas Department of Transportation began pre-treating major highways Dec. 31 in the Austin district.

“Pre-treating roads in advance of a storm discourages ice from sticking to the pavement,” TxDOT Public Information Officer Brad Wheelis wrote in a media release. “Work teams and trucks will then be placed on standby, to respond to ice situations, as the need arises.”

In Burnet County, TxDOT crews are working to pre-treat bridges on highways.

According to the National Weather Service, any ice accumulations will mainly occur on road surfaces such as bridges and overpasses.

New Year’s Day is expected to be sunny with a high of 51 degrees in Marble Falls before a cold front that night brings a 50 percent chance of precipitation after midnight and a low of about 32 degrees.

Rain chances Jan. 2 are 60 percent with a high of 38 degrees. That night, rain chances are 30 percent with a low of 27 degrees.

TxDOT offered guidelines for motorists to keep in mind in the area for the following days:

• Drive cautiously over bridges and overpasses as these are the first roadways to freeze.

• A vehicle needs at least three times more distance to stop on a slick roadway, so increase your following distance and reduce speed.

• Avoid using cruise control and do not suddenly apply the brakes to better respond if you encounter slippery roads.

• Keep a distance of at least 200 feet when approaching a de-icing crew, according to the law.

• Check fuel, tire, oil, and antifreeze levels before traveling in winter conditions and make sure your heater, windshield wipers, and brakes work properly.

For more current roadway conditions, go to DriveTexas.org.

jared@thepicayune.com

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