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State Officials Defend Response To Winter Storm

By Jay Gormley, CBS 11 News
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There is a car somewhere under the layer of snow. (credit: Edna Dorman)

There is a car somewhere under the layer of snow. (credit: Edna Dorman)

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.

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