By Wyatt Goolsby
MIDLAND/ODESSA - Crews with the Texas Department of Transportation said they're geared up and ready to treat dozens of roads as the temperatures fall Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. In fact, they've been watching for ice and snow across the Permian Basin for the last 24 hours.
TXDOT officials said there will be lots of highways across West Texas left covered in snow, rain, or a mix of both. It could also leave roads with just patches of ice Tuesday night or into the early hours Wednesday. It's why work crews were getting ready for a long night.
On Tuesday, most of the work has been patrolling and monitoring Interstates, loops, bridges, and overpasses throughout the Basin. Officials said for Midland-Odessa, one of the big concerns is ice, some you can and some you can't see.
"The snow starts to stick on the roadway, and there starts to be a snow pack," Glen Larum, with TXDOT, explained. "I don't anticipate that we are going to have that much of a problem here, although there will be some freezing on our elevated structures."
Which means another busy night Tuesday and early morning Wednesday. That's why officials said it's a good idea to plan some extra time for your morning drive.
"This is fairly widespread, the roads are all going to be wet," Larum said. "When we have refreezing overnight, there's going to be some icy conditions on the roads. [Wednesday] morning, and that's when I'd be concerned."
Crews are set to be working the next 24 hours, but officials said they can't treat every road. With chances of freezing fog east of the Pecos River, they say it's best be ready no matter where you are.
"We've had a ten day spade of weather in which we've closed down sections of Interstate 10 and Interstate 20," Larum explained. "This doesn't appear to be anything like that, but you never say never about the weather, it's so unpredictable. I would just say that if you're planning to travel outside the region, you need to check with the road conditions of the area in which you're headed, and then I would think twice about whether the trip is really necessary.
Officials also said conditions will likely get better in the next day or two for anyone traveling.