Weekend Icy Roads Cause Over 800 WrecksFebruary 5, 2011
On Thursday night, freezing temperatures brought icy conditions across much of the Houston area. According to local sources, over 800 accidents and 700 EMS calls were reported throughout the city. Houston drivers were cautioned to stay home well into the day because of dangerous conditions on the freeways, overpasses, and bridges. Many drivers reported they did not see the ice until it was too late and slick roads made it difficult for emergency crews to reach people.
The icy weather caused all major Harris County toll roads to shut down most of Friday and led to extreme traffic conditions throughout the city. In an effort to escape the traffic, some drivers were seen driving the wrong way on high-ways and down one-way streets. As a result, city officials stressed the importance of obeying the law and staying off the roads through local media outlets.
The Texas Department of Transportation and Harris County Toll Road Authority are the organizations which combat weather conditions on Harris County roads. The overpasses and bridges were treated with magnesium chloride before the freezing rain arrived, and officials contend the process worked to the maximum effect. The public was reminded that even though the ice on the road may get treated, it often refreezes causing the same previous icy condition.