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City Officials To Discuss Storm Preparedness

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Jennifer Lindgren
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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - Now that the effects of the major ice storm of last week are wearing off, local governments and public works agencies are taking note of what worked, and which area they can improve for response.

In Fort Worth, members of the joint emergency operations center will meet in the coming weeks for an after action report.

“It was a challenge for all of us. We got through it. We’re going to learn and do the best we can next time,” said Eric Carter, an emergency manager for the City of Fort Worth.

Carters points to three areas the city will be looking to improve upon based on the last storm.

First, they will look at the sheltering of the homeless population. The dangerously cold temperatures led to community shelters quickly filling up. Carter says they’ll look at options for expanding the city facility.

A second issue Carter points to, was staffing during the ice storm, when many employees who were crucial to the response were trapped at home because of ice, and unable to get to the Emergency Operations Center.

Cobblestone ice also proved to be a unique challenge, one Carter says, he’s never experienced with an ice storm before.

The ice build up was blamed for causing accidents and highway backups throughout North Texas.

“Now [road crews] know how to clear it off. They’ll be quicker about marshaling the resources to do it,” Carter said.

A spokesperson for TxDOT says their crews who worked 24/7 during the ice storm, will also be going through best practices and what areas need improvement.

Crews were still busy clearing bridges and overpasses as late as Wednesday.

There are other challenges. For example, in Parker County some roads remain icy. Judge Mark Riley says they don’t have the money, or resources to quickly clear 1200 miles of country roadway.

North Texas residents, like Tanner Bridgeman say they’ve never seen anything like it.

Jupiter House Coffee in Denton, was the only business on the square to remain open to customers during the ice storm.

“I don’t think people were prepared for everything that happened. I don’t think the city was prepared for everything. All though we’re North Texas we don’t really get ice storms that often,” Bridgeman said.

Not storms like this one.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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