While Lewisville may see some snow flurries Thursday night into Friday, no accumulations are currently expected to cause any major traffic problems. The National Weather Service says southern Denton County has a 20 percent chance of light snow Friday. Greater chances of snow are north of our area around the Red River.
But just in case, Lewisville’s public services department pretreated the city’s elevated roads and bridges with a salt brine solution Wednesday afternoon. That solution lowers the freezing point to -6 degrees Fahrenheit to keep them from freezing and becoming slick. If needed, the city may reapply the solution to increase effectiveness.
Public Services Director Keith Marvin said that Lewisville has more resources now to deal with ice and snow on roadways than it did in 2013. The 2013 Icepocalypse was several days of icy weather that crippled transportation throughout the Metroplex. Marvin said the city now has six snow plows and seven sand spreaders that attach to its large 10-wheel dump trucks. Marvin said the city stockpiles salt and some ice melt chemicals.
In the event that local roads become icy, Lewisville city crews will focus mainly on clearing or sanding city-owned thoroughfares, while the Texas Department of Transportation will handle state highways like I-35E, SH 121, FM 407, and FM 3040. Marvin leaves open the possibility of the city taking action on state roads if needed to ensure that emergency responders can pass. “We’re very unlikely to get into the residential neighborhoods,” Marvin said. “If there’s a neighborhood for example, that has a hill and our police and fire need to get in there, we’re going to go sand the hill, or whatever we can do.”
So far this season, the public services crews have dealt with more slick roadways from sprinkler systems left on during freezing weather than any natural icing.
Marvin said that his department currently has someone on call 24 hours, and that if needed, he could put more crews on around-the-clock duty with 12-hour shifts to deal with roadways.
Lewisville emergency manager Josh Roberts said his team was monitoring the weather forecasts, and pushing briefings to city staff. “[We’re] not expecting it to be too bad but we are still taking precautions for safety sake,” Roberts said.
Roberts said his department purchased and distributed heat retention blankets to the police and fire departments so that they can distribute them to anyone in need that they may run across during the cold weather.
Roberts also mentioned that Salvation Army was preparing to operate its emergency overnight shelter on Thursday and Friday nights, when wind chills are expected to drop into the teens.
“Always hope for the best but plan for worse!” Roberts said.