Icy Roads Still a Hazard in Texas, Tips On Where Black Ice Hides
As you can see from the map below, icy roads are still an issue across much of East Texas.
In Deep East Texas, we didn't get a lot of precipitation, but the sleet and freezing rain that we did receive combined with temperatures well below 32 degrees have caused the ice to stick around or to refreeze in some cases.
Pretty much every school in northeast and east Texas has shut down for at least Tuesday. Angelina College, SFA, and Rice are a few of the institutions of higher learning that have shut down for Tuesday.
These were smart decisions to make. Although many roads are safe to travel, there are still quite a few that have patches of dangerous ice. Judging by the frequent sound of sirens from first responders this morning, the hazards continue.
Black Ice Dangers
We hear a lot about the dangers of black ice. The ice itself is not black, it's transparent.
But, because it's clear, the only color you see is the black of the asphalt.
If you hit a patch of black ice at a high speed, or if you try to accelerate or brake in this area, you could lose control of your vehicle.
Black Ice Tips
- If you feel your vehicle sliding on black ice, take your foot off the gas pedal and do not panic.
- Do not slam the brakes
- Try your best to steer straight and as slowly as you can through the patch
- If your car does start to skid on the ice, turn the wheel in the direction of the skid
- Try your best to avoid driving at night, spotting black ice at night is very difficult
- Look for trouble spots ahead...
Black ice can appear anywhere on a roadway, but there are some places where it frequently can pop up.
Where Trees Overhang the Roadway
Notice the tree limbs that overhang this roadway in Hudson. Many times freezing precipitation can collect on trees. That ice will then fall on the road below either because it melted or because winds blew it off. That ice may temporarily melt on the road below, but given our cold temps, it then quickly refreezes.
This is a merging lane onto Loop 287 in Lufkin. Notice the collection of icy areas. This is rather common for ramps merging onto highways. These ramps tend to be lower in height than the adjoining road or sometimes a hillside.
These merging lanes act as a collection area for water where it can refreeze in cold temperatures. This can be especially dangerous since accelerating is common in merging lanes.
Notice the shine on these railroad tracks near Chambers Park in Lufkin. That's all ice. Granted, you may only be traveling over 6 feet of ice, but many times these tracks are by a stop sign.
If you try braking as you normally would at this stop sign, you could slide into the intersection or the vehicle in front of you.
Be safe and give yourself extra time if you do have to travel. Here's looking ahead to highs in the 60s on Thursday.
Top 6 Things You Can Not Do in Less Than an Inch of Texas Snowfall
Brrr! People Share Their Wintry Weather Photos Around East Texas
Gallery Credit: Tara Holley