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“How are the streets?” Officials prepare for the winter weather

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The winter storm is here bringing with it sleet and freezing rain and the potential for hazardous travel conditions.

The sound of sleet. For children, it’s the sound of school being canceled, but for others, it’s time to find out what the streets are like.

“We are monitoring the forecast,” said Chris Horgen, public information manager for Wichita Falls. “We have the tires on the streets if you want, checking the streets to make sure they’re there and then the crews are ready to go.”

Some of the “tires on the streets” to help track the weather belong to the police department.

“We have a police force that is on the roads all the time, so when there is weather like this, they are monitoring the roads for us and when they get slippery spots when they start to see accidents, the dispatch will notify our roads department and they it will come into action,” Horgen said.

So city crews, starting with the most densely populated streets, have been out since Monday morning trying to reduce the risk of crashes and stranded vehicles.

“All they can do right now is make chat, which is a blend of shale and stone, add traction,” Horgen said. “It’s not a fluxing agent, but it will give you some pep as you go through the intersections.”

But city crews aren’t the only ones pre-treating the streets, as TxDOT crews are also hard at work.

“Our crews are out,” said Adele Lewis, TxDOT’s public information manager. “They’re treating the roads with more brine, rock salt, they’re laying down some aggregate like de-icer stone or sand, to give people traction and so right now we’re just treating the roads and trying to loosen that sleet out of the road.”

While both are out working the roads, they also want to clarify: If you don’t have to be on the roads, stay home. The fewer vehicles on the road, the less likely it is that multi-vehicle accidents will occur. But if you must be on the roads, drive slowly to give yourself and others that extra margin of safety.

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