Icy blast grips county
A cold front that brought with it sleet, light snow and ice hit Milam County and surrounding areas with a bang on Thursday night, causing road and school closures on Friday morning.
Then another hard freeze, this time with little preciptation, crippled the county Tuesday morning, causing more accidents and school closures and delays.
However, despite the dozens of accidents worked by DPS troopers, Milam County reported no fatalities during the week.
FRIDAY CLOSURES—Temperatures dipped into the low 20s on Thursday night, brining sleet and some light snow flurries.
In turn, Friday morning driving conditions in Milam County were a mess. Bridges and overpasses, although treated during the night by Texas Department of Transporation crews, iced over as well as black ice formed over much of the roadways in south and east parts of the county.
There were a dozen accidents on the roadways as people got out to go to school and work. Several school districts, including Rockdale, attempted to have school on a delayed start, but decided the roadways were too treacherous and canceled classes on Friday. Thorndale, Gause, Lexington and Cameron ISDs, along with St. Paul Lutheran School in Thorndale, all did the same.
Milano ISD was the lone district to hold classes on Friday. They started at 10 a.m. rather than 8 a.m.
Several busineses and day cares in the area were also closed on Friday, as well as all Milam County offices.
Between Thursday and Friday, measurable precipitation at KRXTFM in Rockdale totaled just 0.27 of an inch. Things were thawed out by Friday night.
By Sunday, temperatures were up in the mid-70s and skies were clear.
However, on Monday night, freeze warnings across Central Texas and Brazos Valley caused schools to close or delay in anticipation of more icy road conditions.
TUESDAY CLOSURES— Monday night dipping temperatures did not bring the precipitation that had fallen on Thursday and Friday, but it did cause some icy road conditions Tuesday morning.
TxDOT crews prepped the bridges and overpasses, but black ice gave driver fits again, causing more accidents and closures.
Rockdale ISD announced it would be delayed two hours, but then decided to cancel classes all together because of the dangerous driving conditions. Thorndale, St. Paul and Lexington school districts also canceled classes.
Milano, Gause and Cameron ISDs attended school on Tuesday, but with a two-hour delay in start time.
ACCIDENTS—DPS troopers, Milam County Sheriff’s deputies, area volunteer firemen and other emergency personnel worked several accidents on the slick roadways. Most of them were vehicles that slid off the roadways due to ice.
At one point Friday morning, Rockdale VFD reported several 18-wheelers that had slid off US 77 south of Rockdale and Milano volunteer firemen were tending to four accidents, one that had TX 36 south of town shut down and another that had the US 79 viaduct impassable.
DPS officials listed working 12 accidents on Tuesday morning and the sheriff’s office reported working 20.