by Kim Powell
ODESSA - This cold snap may not be as bad as the ice storm we had a few weeks ago, but that doesn't mean the roads are less dangerous. "It's cold! It's been snowing sideways all day long,"
Preston Bridges said. Snow in the desert; covering oilfields, highways, and of course, cacti. "We were expecting some sort of a wintry blast but I don't think anything to this extreme," Kelly St. Clair, who was passing through the basin, said.
As West Texas woke up to a version of a winter wonderland, TxDOT got to work at keeping the roads clear.
"Snow is easier for us to deal with because we actually just push it off the road if there's accumulations and traffic will actually melt the snow and keep it off the roads, so to speak on high traffic areas," Gene Powell, the TxDOT spokesperson explained.
"But you never know where that little patch of ice is going to be so slow down and take precautions."
TxDOT says they're using chemicals and sand on overpasses and highways to keep the roads from getting slick. They also say snowplows were out in Fort Stockton and near Monohans as the snow kept falling.
Earlier this month, DPS and police were called out to hundreds of crashes because of the icy road conditions. Even though the current cold snap isn't as bad as the ice storm that hit a few weeks ago, it's still important to drive with extreme caution.
"Take it slow and you know you've got to control your speed," Bridges said. "Watch ahead, you know, when you're driving, you've got to pay attention to what's going on--not the cars in front of you but the other cars in front of you."
TxDOT says it's best to just handle one cold snap at a time.