The Texas Department of Transportation Tyler District is telling residents that bridges and overpasses could be hazardous as a light snow falls in parts of the region amid sub-freezing temperatures.
The warning comes as a winter weather advisory for an area that included Gregg and Harrison counties has expired, but temperatures remain in the mid-20s Friday morning.
The National Weather Service at just before 6 a.m. reported a band of light snow was moving southwest across parts of East Texas and Southwest Arkansas headed for Northwest Louisiana.
On Thursday, the service predicted freezing rain would cause some ice accumulation in the Longview area and that black ice was possible overnight.
“If you do get out this morning, remember that bridges and overpasses could be hazardous, especially in the NW portion of the district. Watch your speed and drive safe,” TxDOT’s Tyler District said on Twitter just before 7 a.m. Friday.
TxDOT crews have been working to treat area roadways with brine in recent days ahead of the possibility for weather-slickened roads.
CITY OF TYLER SERVICES: Offices and facilities will open at 10 a.m. today (Friday), provided roadways are clear and it is safe to do so. Final determinations will be made Friday morning. The City of Tyler Solid Waste will check road conditions Friday morning to determine if routes will be collected. If road conditions permit, crews will complete scheduled trash pick-ups and complete routes missed due to the weather.
COUNTY OFFICES CLOSED: All Smith County offices will delay opening until 10 a.m. Friday. “We will … re-evaluate in the morning to determine if a full day closure is needed based on an evaluation of overnight conditions. If so, we will make a public announcement at that time,” Smith County Judge Nathaniel Moran said. “We urge folks to drive carefully and avoid overpasses and bridges, if possible.”
EAST TEXAS FOOD BANK: The East Texas Food Bank announced Wednesday the drive-thru produce distribution in Tyler scheduled for Friday at Lindsey Park has been canceled.
ERCOT: The maligned power provider maintains an online dashboard where you can monitor conditions in real time. At 3:30 p.m., the system was continuing to operate under “normal conditions.” ERCOT’s watch remains effective through Sunday.
HOME SAFETY: The CDC offers the following tips for staying safe in your home during a winter weather event, including how to protect your pipes from freezing and rupturing.
MEALS ON WHEELS: Meals on Wheels in East Texas will not be delivering meals Thursday. Clients received a three-day shelf stable meal box to use in emergency situations such as bad weather.
PARKS AND REC: The water to the city of Tyler water fountains and bathrooms at all parks and trails has been turned off. Bathrooms will be closed for the duration of the inclement weather.
POWER: At 7:32 a.m., Oncor reported a total of 226 active outages statewide, affecting 7,439 customers. There were no active outages in the Tyler area. To track Oncor outages, click here. If you need to report an outage or check the status of an outage, text OUT to 66267 on your cell phone or tablet; download the MyOncor app; visit www.Oncor.com or call 888-313-4747.
ROADS: The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) leadership urged drivers to avoid roadways as conditions worsen. All DPS regions are activated to provide support to local law enforcement. Texas Department of Transportation crews are working around the clock to treat bridges and major thoroughfares around the state in an effort to minimize ice accumulation. Over half a billion gallons of brine have already been used as road treatment. Drivers are urged to minimize travel as winter weather moves through the state and may visit DriveTexas.org to check road current conditions.
The City of Tyler Streets Department is operating three sanding trucks and has staff working 24/7 to sand the roads to keep them open for first responders and emergency crews. Priorities for sanding are overpasses, bridges and hospital emergency room entrances.
TxDOT is responsible for sanding state highways including Broadway, Loop 323, Interstate-20 and Toll 49. Smith County Road and Bridge crews are responsible for county roads.
Crews are also on standby to clear fallen trees from roadways. Residents are advised to keep their distance from the trucks so the crews can do their jobs safely.
If you must be on the roads, TxDOT offers these driving tips.
SCHOOLS: The Tyler Morning Telegraph is keeping track of all school delays and closures here. Nearly every local district and college has announced a delay or closure for Thursday and many also opted to cancel Friday.
TYLER TRANSIT: Tyler Transit will have reduced hours Thursday and Friday, due to predicted dangerous road conditions. Services end at 6 p.m. Thursday with all routes’ last trips set to begin at 5 p.m. and Friday, service will have a delayed start and begin running at 10 a.m. If you have any questions, you are encouraged to contact the Tyler Transit office at 903-533-8057.