winter weather

Counties Prepare for Potential Winter Weather Sunday

Plans are in place to keep roads and residents safe

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Counties across North Texas are preparing for the possibility of snow and other winter precipitation Sunday.

“I’ll just take it as it comes," Hill County Emergency Management Coordinator Tom Hemrick said. "We don’t have any control over it. So we’ll make the best of it."

While snowfall would be a sight to see, he asked residents to play it safe. 

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“The problem is everyone is going to want to get out and play in it, so I’m hoping they play in their own yard, and not try to get out on the roads and ride around because that’s where the hazard is,” Hemrick said.

He said he was keeping an eye on the forecast to make sure people who wanted to get COVID-19 tests Sunday don’t get stuck. 

“In my facility, we run a regional COVID-19 testing center. We’re trying to make decisions right now on whether or not to bring those people in tomorrow for testing,” Hemrick said.

Counties across North Texas are preparing for the possibility of snow and other winter precipitation Sunday.

COVID-19's effect could also play a role in how MedStar transports those injured in potential weather-related crashes.

"Our hospitals are nearly at capacity right now, so we will be doing a really good job coordinating with the hospitals, seeing who can take the next patient, the next two patients to make sure we're not overloading any one hospital as much as we can," MedStar spokesperson Matt Zavadsky said.

He said if Sunday's storm is anything like the last significant snowfall in 2015, EMTs could be in for a long day.

"What will likely happen tomorrow is our call volume will shoot through the roof," Zavadsky said.

To do its part, the Texas Department of Transportation started to pretreat not only overpasses and bridges Thursday but also the main lanes of the region's major roadways.

"As we do this pretreatment, what is important to us is that emergency personnel can get to their destinations quickly but also safely. So this is very important for us," TxDOT public information officer Patrick Clarke said.

In Dallas, Pastor Wayne Walker with nonprofit OurCalling said the group partnered with the city to get 300 homeless people into hotel rooms Saturday night.

“Really, the most valuable part of that room is not the bed, not the hot water, it’s the lock on the door - the safety and security to know they’ll be OK,” Walker said.

The nonprofit will open its doors Sunday to give people who couldn’t get into hotels a warm place to stay.  

Hill County officials said they are ready to open up bigger facilities to use as warming stations if people need to get off the highway and warm up a bit.  

The city of Garland posted on Twitter, saying its overnight warming shelter will be activated Sunday. 

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