East Texas readies for wintry weather

By Holley Nees - email

LIVINGSTON, TX (KTRE) - This is a rare site in East Texas, rare enough to get the attention of at least this emergency coordinator.

"In preparation for the winter storm we have here, we have opened up the EOC," Larry Shine, Polk County Emergency Operations Coordinator, said.  "We've got a skeleton crew just kind of watching the event as it unfolds."

Some schools in this area have closed early so buses can get kids home safely.

"If we do lose power because of ice building up on power lines we may need to have a place for shelter," Shine said. "Our schools are primarily our shelters, so we need to know in advance are those schools opened or are they closed."

And if road conditions get bad, TxDOT is ready.

"Right now we have our trucks loaded with ice rock," Kevin Harbuck, TxDOT Area Engineer, said. "If we do get into an icy situation, we have our trucks on standby."

And while all this snow could create some dangerous situations, there are some residents who say they wish they had a little more of it.

"I think it's kind of good, but last time ever, this morning we were watching the news, I thought it was supposed to be five inches, but we haven't even got one inch," second grader Nathaniel Louviere said.

Others were just glad to be out of school.

"I think it was cool so we don't have to learn that much," Olivia Louviere, 10, said.

"Last year we played in the snow and it was really fun and like we don't have to go to school until 10," Amber McCarthy said.

"I think it's fun as long as I'm not driving," Truck driver Toby Blevins said.

And TxDOT says he's right. It may be a good idea to stay off the roads if conditions get worse.

"If at all possible, if we do get into an icing situation, to please stay home, let us get out there and rock the roads down where we can get out," Harbuck said.

©2009 KTRE. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.