East Texas authorities urge motorists to use caution on icy roads, bridges

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - TxDOT is continuing to urge drivers to stay off the roads Friday morning as ice and snow is causing issues for motorists. Numerous slide of the road incidents have and continue to occur on US 59 South between Lufkin and Burke.

"The connector ramps for Highway 59 South and South First St (Loop 287) in the City of Lufkin are closed at this time," said Lt. Charlie Graham, a spokesman for the Lufkin Police Department. "TXDOT has sanded and graveled several bridges and overpasses within the City of Lufkin."

Ice is present on the Angelina River bridges on U.S. Highway 59. Texas Department of Public Safety troopers were present on the north and south ends of the bridges with their flashers on early Friday morning.

Sgt. Greg Sowell, a spokesman for the Nacogdoches Police Department, said all the roads in the town are open to traffic. There are patches of ice and snow on the roadways, and there is ice on the bridges.

"TxDOT and city public works crews have been working overnight to gravel problem areas," Sowell said. "Please remind everyone to leave plenty of space between them and the vehicle ahead, and above all, go slow!"

Some areas of East Texas are reporting several inches of accumulated snow.

The Lufkin District is experiencing everything from rain and sleet to snow around the 9-county area.

The 3rd level bridges at US 59/Loop 287 south in Lufkin were closed until 2 p.m. Friday.

TxDOT crews are out monitoring roadways and spreading rock on elevated areas - bridges and overpasses. 

Crews shut down the connector ramps at the intersection of Loop 287 and US 59 South in Lufkin Thursday night.

Snow has been sticking on the ground in Nacogdoches County since about 6 p.m. and in Angelina County since about 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

The US 190 bridge over the lake at the Polk and San Jacinto County line was closed, but re-opened later Friday.

There are several road closures in Polk County. US 59 is shut down between Corrigan and Moscow and traffic is being diverted to State Highway 287.

The highway was also shutdown on the northbound side south of Goodrich, as an 18-wheeler ran off the road. It was re-opened later Friday.

The lake bridge in Onalaska is also shut down, with traffic being diverted to Loop 393.

On State Highway 7 West, just outside the Nacogdoches city limits, Mickie Clifton, of Pollok, ran off the road after she fishtailed.

Clifton said she was driving to work in her Ford Escape and only driving around 40 miles per hour when she began fishtailing. She said she was about to straighten the car out when she saw an 18-wheeler coming straight at her. She had to take her vehicle off the road to avoid hitting it.

Clifton was not injured. She said she and her husband had purposefully left late for work and left together to stay safe. Her husband saw the whole accident in the rear-view mirror.

After the wreck, road crews sanded down the hill which she was fishtailing.