City manager 'proud' of how agencies handled snow storm - FOX34 Lubbock

City manager 'proud' of how agencies handled snow storm

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

From Midnight Saturday to Monday at 9 a.m., Lubbock police report a total of 183 wrecks. Fortunately, there were no serious injuries related to the crashes. 

City Manager Jarrett Atkinson said the city has been working on a plan to deal with severe weather for months now. 

"So what we saw from the city side response from this event is really the first test that we've had from these new plans," Atkinson said.

Atkinson said the three things that got city staffers through this storm were having a plan, communication, and resources. 

"Our emergency operation center has been open since 6 a.m. on Friday and it just wound down at 11 today (Monday)," Atkins said. 

The City of Lubbock, LPD, LFR, LP&L all put in overtime hours to make sure those roads and homes were safe. Atkinson said the equipment was put to use starting Friday evening and will continue to sand and salt main roads until the snow is melted.

"You likely noticed we did do something that appeared to be fundamentally different this time," Atkinson said. "We plowed the snow into the middle of the road."

He said this was to avoid blocking driveways, side streets, and allowed workers to scatter the snow across the road so it would met and break down easier.
"We don't want to make it more difficult for emergency equipment to get into a neighborhood or neighbor get out to the arterial street," Atkinson said.

Deputy Chief of Operations for LFR, Shaun Fogerson is impressed with how each agency contributed. 

"We train together, we do exercises together, so we know what every single department is capable of and what their role is," Fogerson said. "That way we can all perform our own roles together to become a larger hole."

If you are signed up for LBKAlert , your phone was going off all weekend. Kasey Whitley with LPD said these messages allow staffers to reach participants as quickly as possible.

"We actually saw an increase in people signing up for the LBKAlert after we issued that," Whitley said. 

Whitley said each agency is constantly in communication, which led to more accurate alerts. 

"We would actually debrief hourly with each department, figuring out what was happening, if streets were being closed, if we were seeing an increase in certain crashes in certain places," Whitley said.

Even though all these agencies believe it has been successful at handling these conditions, Atkinson said there is always room for improvement.

"We've already begun the discussion of what would we change, what would we adjust, what would be do differently next time," Atkinson said.

To sign up for LBKAlert, click here

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