Officials ask people to stay off roads; problems on Interstate 20

Local News
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TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Snow was accumulating throughout East Texas Sunday evening causing problems throughout the region.

“Drivers should avoid non-emergency and non-essential travel,” said Tyler Police Department on Sunday night. “At this time, road conditions in the City are deteriorating due to ice and snow accumulation.”

TxDOT on Sunday night said Interstate 20 throughout East Texas had patches of ice and heavy snow accumulations. The exit ramps to State Highway 42 and 31 were hazardous and the sites of several accidents.

Ice and snow was getting thicker on bridges and overpasses on all major highways. Travel was being discouraged.

In Tyler, the City Streets team is applying aggregate and de-icer material to the roadways Sunday.

The police department said Sunday night it will respond to vehicle crashes in the roadways to check on all parties involved but that officers will not work the accident.

“They will provide all parties with the information they need to file a report at the police department,” the announcement said. 

Drivers should exchange information at the scene. 

Smith County Offices will delay opening Monday until at least 10 a.m. because of the weather.

Smith County Judge Nathaniel Moran said Sunday night that “certain road conditions presently are hazardous to travel on, so we are asking our employees and the public to wait until road conditions improve before they travel to county facilities (on Monday).”

Moran said he would decide Monday morning whether to delay the opening of county facility’s further or close them.

There were reports of limbs falling across power lines. As of 7 p.m., Oncor was reporting that it had 40,000 customers without power including many in Smith County.

There also were reports of motorists sliding off roads and into ditches.

According to the city of Lufkin, TxDOT crews on Sunday were retreating elevated sections of US 59 and US 259 as needed to keep the highways open.

City officials in Nacogdoches were asking people to stay off streets. “Our Public Works crews are monitoring road conditions and have sand ready to spread if needed,” the statement said.

The Rusk County Office of Emergency Management said residents should expect the storm to bring downed trees and road blockages. “Power outages are also likely considering the expected snow accumulation,” its announcement said.


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