State Officials Defend Response To Winter Storm

By Jay Gormley, CBS 11 News

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Media from all over the world are in our backyard, which, it so happens, is covered with ice and snow.

“I’m telling you: I-30 between Dallas + Fort Worth is a plow-less, snow-wind swept moonscape. This is officially a debacle,” tweeted Peter King, the senior NFL reporter at Sports Illustrated.

Area Texas Department of Transportation officials have no snow plows. Every time a winter storm hits North Texas, the agency brings in plows from West Texas. Thirty arrived Monday night and another 44 arrived Friday afternoon.

But is it too little too late? Should North Texas have a fleet of its own snow plows?

“In order to keep one, we have to put a number of miles on it,” said Michelle Releford, a TxDOT spokeswoman. “We don’t typically have that many events in a year to justify owning one of those and still maintaining it.”

State and city road crews keep calling this week’s weather a ‘freak of nature.’ Others dramatically label it ‘The 100 Year Storm.’

The truth is, North Texas nearly broke a record for snowfall last winter, including a 12-inch dumping all at once in mid February. In 2006 and 2003, the area had winter storms, including an unforgettable ice storm that shut the region down for several days in Feb. of 2003.

Winter storms are becoming an annual event, and visitors from the northwest and Midwest continue to ask about why the region sands its roads instead of using salt.

The City of Dallas uses a 90 percent sand and 10 percent salt mixture. City spokesman Dennis Ware said salt is extremely corrosive and bad for the environment.

“If we use 100 percent salt, it’s not good for the environment,” he said.

Both TxDOT and the City of Dallas stand firm, arguing that salt is far too corrosive to mix at any higher ratio.


One Comment

  1. Geoff says:

    It is winter and mother nature plays by her own rules. People need to calm down and just use their heads. I think we will survive.

  2. Jason says:

    I believe it is time DFW area officials prepare for significant storms each year and use more salt when trying to prevent the ice. It could save numerous lives and accidents!

  3. P Steele says:

    North Texas is never ready for any snow or ice! ! !
    Nobody clear’s sidewalks. Dart did not clear any train stations or transportation centers. Their transportation agents sat on their butts and watched people slip/slide and fall down at transportation centers. Myself and others helped a preson in a wheelchair get on a bus in Irving. The agent just watched.

    1. cwd says:

      This hasn’t happen in over 20 years. Would you keep a snowplow on your truck for that?

      1. David C. says:

        “The truth is, North Texas nearly broke a record for snowfall last winter, including a 12-inch dumping all at once in mid February. In 2006 and 2003, the area had winter storms, including an unforgettable ice storm that shut the region down for several days in Feb. of 2003.”

        So did you even bother to read the article or are you just trolling?

  4. hamburg says:

    salt being bad for the environment although may be true, SOMEONE is using that as an excuse. why not use it for “freak of nature” snow falls only. THIS WEEK BEING THE TIME TO USE IT. its a simple solution AND that is why i think someone is using the “environment” issue as a EXCUSE. my friend in who lives in downtown chicago and works in the suburbs described the streets today as DRY. they just had a BLIZZARD, 20 inches folks.

  5. rev93 says:

    I agree CDW. For crying out loud people, do you need someone to tell you not to stick your hand in the fire? Don’t close the roads and ramps because some people are too stupid and over estimate their driving abilities. We don’t have enough of this weather to justify snowplows. Natural selection.

  6. Hemroidious says:

    Salt causes Global Warming, along with cow farts. The worst has happened when we lost the “Prince Concert” or “Snoop Doggy” and the “Bud light Hotel”. Oh,my god!, this week has been a disaster. Thank you Jerry Jones. I must fart now.

  7. vt says:

    are we all idiots? have you seen the drivers? oh thats right all the snow plows were by the cowboy stadium we didnt need them in dallas… what is everyone drinking? i have seen more wrecks in 3 days then in 3 years maybe dallas can pay me for all the days i cant make it to work? by the way is everyone thats commenting against snow plows afford a few days off? can we up the snow plows and the police department?

  8. Hemroidious says:

    And where the hell was Vanilla Ice during all of this weather?

  9. Sandtruck Plowkits? says:

    Okay…. common sense tells me that we ought to be able to purchase “PLOW KITS” that can be attached to sand trucks. Obviously these cost money too, but there is a clear shift in the weather pattern the past 5 years or so. If I were Walmart and Target I would start carrying plastic sleds, snow shovels and rock salt. We all need to do our part to clear the ice, but then again it is difficult to purchase the tools needed because the fact is is that the DFW culture as a whole is not prepared.

  10. BDF says:

    No we don’t have enough snow and ice “regularly” to warrant keeping plows here.
    HOWEVER….just a few weeks ago a speaker for the state trans dept said on camera (regarding possible situations during Super Bowl week) “We can handle anything nature throws at us!”
    Given that the NWS/NOAA and the local meteorologists all forecast this even days ahead of the actual occurence, it would have been prudent to say the least to have brought the equipment in at that time.
    That was a no brainer, but then, “no brainers” is evidently what the state has when it comes to preparing for an event everyone saw coming.
    Way to go….you really showcased your ineptitude in front of the whole world.

  11. TCookie says:

    One Word: SALT! (Shakes head and sighs)

  12. g says:

    Wow! You have no plows?? Well we have tons in Michigan, our three main Detroit counties have over 300+ plows and we use salt because we are cheap and won’t use the environmentally friendly Calcium Chloride, however the Upper Penninsula uses sand and can clear 30 inches of snow faster than anybody!

    I can’t imagine having to wait for plows to come from far away, our guys are out before the snow even comes! Yet I understand why your officials are not willing to buy a bunch of equipment when its such a rare event.

    We had 6 inches on Wednesday and by the next day the roads were great, salt does work as long as the temp is above 15 degrees. Today we got another 4 inches, and with no melting in sight our 10 inches will be around for a long time! Good luck Dallas, come live in a Michigan during the winter months you will become a pro at winter driving just like us!

  13. Elmer says:

    Jay, Do you really think snow plows do any good after an ice storm? If not, why mention them. How many snow storms have we had the last thirty years?

  14. Majellan says:

    Thats why we don’t live in Michigan Elmer. It’s always easy to second guess after the fact. How many times have storms like this been forecasted and turned out to be a bust here in DFW. Btw, it was an ice storm Elmer, not snow that killed us. I’ve seen plenty of yankess sliding around on icy roads so get off your high horse, ya’ll don’t handle ice much better than we do.

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