Texas Dept. of Transportation Already Prepping for this Year’s Winter Storms

FORT WORTH -- It's probably not on most of our minds, since it's only October, and the temperatures are still in the 80's, but for the fine folks at the Texas Department of Transportation, it's never too early to get ready for winter.

Said Val Lopez of TXDOT's Fort Worth district, "It's important to make sure our equipment is properly maintained and calibrated, and ready to go when that weather hits."

Ryan LaFontaine of the Dallas district says similar prep work is happening "Pretty much in every county in Texas."

"For the Fort Worth district what we have is approximately 140 vehicles of all sorts of configuration," said Lopez.  "We're gonna have over 225 personnel manning those vehicles around the clock, 12-hour shifts, in response to any winter weather that rolls in."

Before the storms get here, though, TXDOT heads for bridges and overpasses.  Since they tend to be the first to free, they're the first to get pre-treated with salty sand and salt water "brine."

"What these de-icers do is lower the freezer temperature of the water, and prevent that bond in the first place," said Lopez.

"The Dallas district has the most bridges of any district in Texas," LaFontaine added, "so those are the areas we like to hit first."

And even though it's shaping up to be a warm winter, these guys aren't taking any chances.

"In North Texas, we usually see two or three different ice storms a season," Lopez said.  "We are prepared for your typical North Texas event, and we have a plan in place to respond for more severe conditions."

Yeah, best be prepared, because ready or not, winter is coming.