Breckenridge Texan

Winter weather could continue to be a problem overnight

Winter weather could continue to be a problem overnight
February 21
17:37 2018

A Texas Department of Transportation snow plow clears U.S. Highway 180 West on Wednesday afternoon. TXDoT urges drivers to use caution when traveling throughout this winter weather episode. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

With an overnight low expected to be 27 degrees, many local officials continue to be concerned about the effect the weather will have on Breckenridge and Stephens County residents and drivers on Thursday morning, Feb. 22.

School was canceled this morning, and Breckenridge Independent School District Superintendent Tim Seymore said classes will start at 10 a.m. on Thursday with buses running two hours late. If that plan changes, the superintendent will announce the change.

The weather forecast show the morning temperature to be up to 33 degrees and the frozen precipitation to turn to rain by 10 a.m. Thursday.

Wednesday’s “weather day” off was the last one built into this year’s academic schedule, Seymore said.

“If we have any other issues, we’ll have to add additional days or minutes (to the BISD calendar),” he said. “We have options for how we do it. We can add minutes to days for multiple days, or we can come back and go on Good Friday or add one of our days we have off back (to the schedule). There are multiple ways we can address it. But, this is it, we don’t have any more freebies.”

Breckenridge Police Chief Larry Mahan said this afternoon that the weather hadn’t caused too many problems.

“Everybody has been driving very well. I’m very proud of everybody in town,” Mahan said. “The only problem we’re having today is low-hanging trees because of the ice, and, of course, there’s not a whole lot we can do about that. The streets right now are wet, but they’re not frozen. I’m worried about tonight, though.”

The southwest part of town and the Hubbard Creek Lake area experienced power outages throughout the day, but electricity had been restored to most homes by 1 or 2 p.m. An Oncor representative said that most of the outages were caused by lightning strikes that accompanied the thunderstorm that came through the area.

Stephens County Sheriff Will Holt echoed the police chief’s comments. “It’s been surprisingly slow on the county highways,” Holt said. “I don’t think we’ve had any wrecks, to my knowledge, and no vehicles in the bar ditch, yet. So, we’re pleased about that.”

Road conditions “aren’t as bad as you’d think,” the sheriff said. “I still don’t recommend people driving on them, but it’s more slush right now. I think the severity of the problem is going to be tonight and early in the morning.”

The Texas Department of Transportation crews have been treating the roadways with anti-icing materials, as well as clearing roads with a snow plow.

Travelers are encouraged to plan ahead and check roadway conditions online or by phone prior to travel. In a news release, TxDOT reminded drivers that posted speed limits may not necessarily be safest speeds during inclement weather, even on treated roadways. All motorists are advised to reduce speeds and increase following distances on roads that have been impacted by precipitation. Extra caution is advised on bridges and overpasses, as these structures are usually the first to freeze over.

TxDOT roadway conditions statewide are available at DriveTexas.org or by calling 1-800-452-9292. TheBrownwood District Twitter feed (@TxDOTBWD) will be updated as road conditions change. Other TxDOT Twitter feeds and the TxDOT Facebook page are also resources for travel conditions across the state.

Editor’s Note: This article was updated after Breckenridge ISD announced that school will begin at 10 a.m. on Thursday.

 

Story by Tony Pilkington and Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

Cutline, top photo: As temperatures are expected to drop into the upper 20s overnight, local officials continue to be concerned that the weather could cause problems for drivers in the area. TxDOT crews have been treating the roadways with anti-icing materials and clearing the roads with a snow plow. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

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