LPD warns drivers to watch for black ice, avoid highways - FOX34 Lubbock

LPD warns drivers to watch for black ice, avoid highways

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

updated 9:44 p.m. - Lubbock Police now ask everyone to avoid highways in Lubbock, including Loop 289, Interstate 27 and the Marsha Sharp Freeway. Ice has gotten much worse with the temperature plummeting into the upper teens by 9 p.m. There are have been several wrecks last couple hours. Roads are getting much worse and won't improve until the temperature climbs above freezing mid-day Sunday.

posted 7:25 p.m. -  Lubbock Police report 30 crashes around town Friday night and multiple stranded motorist due to the heavy snow. None of the wrecks are serious, but first responders are prepping for even worse conditions as temperatures dip below freezing once again. 

"The difference between a snow event and ice event, you can see the snow, tonight is going to be black ice," Jon Caspell with Lubbock Police said. "It's going to be very slick and you won't be able to see it. " 

The assistant chief urges everyone to stay at home if at all possible.

"That's the safest thing to do," Caspell said. "Stay inside where it's warm and let us deal with the roadways tonight if we can." 

Of course, if there is an emergency and you are not able to wait for first responders, he said to stay alert and take your time. 

As to what the city is doing to keep the roads clear, Director of Public Works Wood Franklin said once the totals reached four inches, crews began plowing main roads.

"Everyone knows them, 50th street, 30th street, Indiana Quaker, those types of streets," Franklin said. 

However, residential neighborhoods will not be cleared.

"Mainly they're narrower, sometimes they have parking on the street, and our equipment is just larger and can't get down those streets," Franklin said. 

Franklin said the priority right now is making sure emergency routes are clear for any first responder. 
"Also be aware that our equipment is out there," Franklin said. That equipment sometimes turns unexpectedly, it also, it also travels a lot slower, and we are throwing out that salt and sand so be sure back off that equipment and give them plenty of space if you're driving on the road and have to get out tonight." 

The Emergency Operation Center will be fully staffed through the night and into the morning.

"If you're out on the streets really when you don't have to be, and you have a wreck or strand your vehicle somewhere, that could be taking resources away from somebody that maybe is having an emergency," Caspell said. "So let's put those people first, stay inside, stay off the roads, let's put public safety first."

Caspell adds it is best to avoid parts of the loop and overpasses as they will ice over quickly. 

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