Dangerous winter weather has hit the Panhandle hard.
Or by phone (800)452-9292
New Mexico Road Conditions:
Or by phone 511 or (800)432-4269
Oklahoma Road Conditions:
Or call (405) 522-8000
Sonja Gross with the Texas Department of Transportation has issued a press release asking all to STAY AT HOME!
Sonja Gross statement:
SIMPLE MESSAGE: STAY HOME
AMARILLO – Ahead of an unprecedented statewide severe winter weather event, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has issued a disaster declaration for all 254 counties. This event is expected to have a major impact on Texas roadways, including 9,467 lane miles maintained by the Texas Department of Transportation’s Amarillo District.
Overall, the National Weather Service in Amarillo expects widespread snow amounts of 6-plus inches, with most areas in the 6 to 8-inch range. They also note greater snow amounts are possible due to banding and the Canadian River Effect. Wind chills will get colder each night with Monday and Tuesday being the coldest. Another winter system is possible Tuesday through Wednesday night.
“We expect major impacts on every road and blowing snow will definitely limit visibility. If you find yourself stranded, the anticipated wind chills of up to minus 25 degrees is only going to make you more vulnerable,” says Amarillo District Engineer Blair Johnson, P.E. “This is why we can’t say it enough – stay home.”
If you must drive, check weather forecasts and visit DriveTexas.org or call 800-452-9292 to see conditions and closures on your planned route.
Conditions on roadways can change rapidly, and even with proactive measures, the unpredictable and fast-changing severe Texas weather can still result in some ice accumulating. If you find yourself stranded or facing an emergency, call 9-1-1. Other key points to keep in mind:
- Check your vehicle’s antifreeze, battery, tires, and windshield wipers. Be sure all lights are working, including brake lights and blinkers.
- Put together an emergency road kit with supplies you may need if you get stranded. It should have a first aid kit, booster cables, abrasive materials (sand or cat litter), flashlights, warm clothes, flares and matches, a blanket, and plenty of water and nonperishable snacks.
- Tire chains, tow straps, shovels and ice scrapers stowed in the trunk may come in handy.
- Keep plenty of gas in your tank in case of unexpected delays.
- Always buckle up – every driver, every ride. Wearing a seat belt is one of the best ways drivers and passengers can protect themselves in any driving condition.
- Be patient and share the road with others. Build-in extra time to reach your destination.
- Before traveling in hazardous weather, plan your route in advance, let others know your travel plans, and check road conditions at DriveTexas.org or by calling 800-452-9292.
- Stay alert. No matter the driving conditions, avoid driving when fatigued or after drinking alcohol when your concentration and reaction times are impaired.
- Always use caution on icy or slick roads. Slow down when approaching turns, bridges, and shaded spots. Remember, bridges and overpasses are the first places on a roadway to freeze.
- Don’t tailgate. Increase the space between you and the vehicle in front of you by allowing at least three times the normal following distance.
- When you must stop, brake gently and use slow, steady pushes to test traction.
- Don’t use cruise control. Cruise control can quickly turn into “lose control” in icy conditions.
- If you find yourself in a skid, stay calm and keep both hands on the wheel. Take your foot off the gas, look where you want to go, and then steer in that direction.
- Give extra space to vehicles that may be parked on the side of the road. Move over a lane when you see a vehicle with its flashing lights on, such as a tow truck, law enforcement vehicle, emergency vehicle, or TxDOT vehicle.
- And if you don’t have to travel, stay home.