North Texas bracing for snow, slick roadways

Highway crews were out early Tuesday, treating surfaces on some roadways in eastern Tarrant County, but no major problems were reported.

Officials, however, were looking toward Wednesday and Thursday, when snow is a strong possibility in North Texas. The National Weather Service warned of icy road conditions Thursday and possibly Friday morning.

"We're anticipating having to be ready later this week," said Val Lopez, spokesman for the Fort Worth office of the Texas Department of Transportation.

The highway crews came to work at midnight Monday to respond to any problems resulting from rain-soaked surfaces and below freezing temperatures, Lopez said.

Patchy ice was causing some traffic delays in Dallas County. Most of the work needed Tuesday in Tarrant County was in Arlington -- along Texas 360 and on Cooper and Collins streets.

"They didn't really see anything until about 6 a.m. because that's when it got cold enough to freeze," Lopez said.

An Arlington police dispatcher said at 9:30 a.m. that crews were requested to sand some slick spots in the 7800 block of Cooper Street and near the intersection of Cooper Street and Bardin Road, both on the city's south side.

No major accidents were reported, however.

Crews may have to be redeployed Wednesday night in North Texas when, according to the weather service, surface temperatures will be "near or slightly below freezing."

"A mix of rain and snow is expected," the weather service said. "However, a change over to all snow appears highly possible during the day on Thursday, north of a line from Killeen to Waco to Athens.

"At this time it appears that accumulations of 1 to 3 inches will be possible."

The weather service forecasters also noted, however, that there was uncertainty on Tuesday concerning the exact track and speed of the low-pressure system from off of the Pacific Ocean. That system is expected to bring the winter mess.

But the timing of the system's exact arrival could affect snowfall accumulation totals.

Nevertheless, the weather service on Tuesday issued a special statement to get North Texans thinking about the possibility of slick roadways.

"Significant impacts could occur Thursday night as temperatures fall back below freezing," according to the special statement. "This could result in icy road conditions due to residual water freezing on the roadways.

"Icy roads would likely persist into Friday morning."

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