North Texas

Denton County Crews Standby for Winter Weather

With the possibility of winter weather ahead, crews in Denton County say they’re ready for the worst.

"We stand ready with our [plow] blades in case there is bad weather," said Denton County Commissioner Hugh Coleman.

Crews have placed equipment and materials like sand across the county in case an ice storm hits during the New Year's holiday. Coleman said they also have crews on standby that are ready to take immediate action on county roads and bridges.

"If need be they'll be coming out to this yard, getting up our barricades, and we will close down the bridges that need to be closed down. We will be, if there's a large amount of snow, we're prepared to take care of it,” he said.

The county is one of several jurisdictions that have been reworking their winter weather response after the massive ice storm last year.

In early December 2013, ice shut down roads across North Texas and even brought traffic to a daylong stand-still on Interstate 35 from Denton to Sanger.

"Particularly after last year, we need to be prepared for the worst," said Coleman.

So Denton County as well as the cities in the area, the Texas Department of Transportation, and independent construction groups working throughout the county met up to coordinate their responses.

Coleman said that’s lead to better preparation for winter weather and better communication between the jurisdictions.

"It's important to communicate with them, let everybody know what's going on so we can properly distribute our assets,” he said.

The City of Denton said it has crews on 24/7 stand-by right now with 400-500 tons of sand, 20 pallets of magnesium chloride for bridges and equipment already loaded to go immediately if weather hits this week.

TxDOT reports 37,000 tons of materials ready in the North Texas area, including 140 trucks and 167 drivers on standby.

The North Texas Toll Authority is also preparing by pretreating bridges with brine, which is a saltwater mixture to keep ice from sticking.

At this point NBC5 Weather Experts are forecasting storms to hit mostly to the west of the Metroplex Wednesday with some ice expected on Thursday, though nothing like 2013 is forecast at this point.

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