LUBBOCK, TX — As the Hub City braces for one of the worst winter storms since 2018, the Texas Department of Public Safety and the City of Lubbock are urging drivers to stay off the roads.
Before the snow hits, they also ask residents to prepare by stocking up on groceries, topping off their fuel tanks and checking their car headlights and windshield wipers.
The City of Lubbock is planning for a full activation of the emergency operations center starting midnight on Saturday.
“Don’t get out if you don’t have to,” Jarrett Atkinson, city manager for the City of Lubbock, said.
Atkinson said the city has been working on its weather plan since Thursday and started loading up weather equipment Friday. Currently, it has five trucks with mounted snow plows, eight trucks to spread out salt and sand mixtures, six large loaders and another four trucks at the ready to help clear the roads.
After the storm begins, the city will be plowing select main roads but not residential streets.
Atkinson also said the city plans to have the full weather patrol, including city management, the police and fire departments and the department of public works, out by midnight Saturday or potentially earlier if needed.
“Trucks will be fully staffed and able to go out right then if need be. If not, what we rely on are a fleet of supervisors that are out in four-wheel drive pickups and all of our police patrol … When we begin to get the [snow] accumulation, all those trucks will leave their depots and go to work,” Atkinson said.
Both Atkinson and Texas DPS officer Sgt. Johnny Bures urged drivers to stay off the roads once the snow hits. However, if you have to be out, they ask you to slow down to at least 10 or even 20 below the speed limit and to avoid highways and overpasses. The higher the road, the faster it freezes.
“If you start to lose control, let your foot off that accelerator. If you start to slide, you want to steer in the direction you want to go,” Bures said.
The best thing to do if your car starts skidding on the snow or ice, Bures added, is not to slam on the break. If you get into an accident, he said to stay in your car until help arrives.
“Just slow down. Take your time getting there. Plan ahead,” Bures said. “If you do see emergency vehicles … slow down and move over for us so that we can make sure that everybody gets home safe.”