Wintry weather keeps road, emergency crews busy

By Friday afternoon, the snow may have started to melt. But in the morning that wasn't the case.

The snow first hit Thursday night around 7. And 12 hours later it was proving hazardous for motorists

"It was a tough night," said TxDOT spokeswoman Kathi White. "It was a long, cold, wet night."

On a stretch of US 59 between Lufkin and Burke, 12 vehicles would leave the roadway. Wrecks like these kept wreckers busy all day.

"Probably 30 to 40 different calls just from minor accidents," said Steve Lucas, the general manager of S&W Expert Collision Repair.

In Corrigan, icy roads would back up 59 for several miles.

Thursday, Steve Poskey with the City of Lufkin said he hoped he would not have to sand roads. And today said they were lucky.

"We had equipment on standby, but we did not have to use anything since we weren't called," Poskey said.

Lufkin police say during the overnight flurries, they responded to 19 calls involving 40 vehicles.
DPS had six calls in the county and 123 in the Beaumont district.

But the main problem Thursday night was the connector ramps on the south side of town. Looking at the ramp Friday morning there was fear that the ramp would stay closed until Saturday. But at 2 p.m. Crews opened them up.

But even with the conditions improving the slush left behind can still cause problems.

"It's what they call the black ice," Lucas said.

"You still want motorists to slow down and take precautions and drive as the roadways begin to clear,  White said.

"The key word is people have to slow down," said Sheriff Greg Sanches. "Once it starts melting, there will be a lot of water on the roadway."

Copyright 2014 KTRE. All rightsreserved.