Ice Storm Memories Have One North Texas City Planning Ahead

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Jason Allen
Jason came to North Texas after working as a reporter for four y...
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KELLER (CBS 11 NEWS) – In the heat of late July, officials in Keller are determined not to get caught off guard by the first winter freeze.

The city bought two snow plow attachments for city trucks. It’s a rare purchase in a region where officials usually say the equipment isn’t used often enough to justify the cost.

Keller paid about $7,000 for each bright red blade and control system. They are part of a new standard operating procedure put in place after last December’s ice storm that shut down North Texas for days.

Keller is also now keeping 400 tons of sand on hand at all times, in order to avoid supply problems in winter.

There is a new priority list for road clearing, and streets supervisor Kelly Howell went to a snow removal workshop this spring. “It overwhelmed everybody including us and we didn’t want to be caught that way again,” he said.

The plows will allow the city to clear state roads as well, including Highways 377 and 1709. Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) plows would normally maintain the roads in a winter storm. The roads are so far down the priority list behind highways though that during major storms state resources may never get there.

Keller will focus on clearing police and fire facilities, as well as key intersections, followed by roads with curves, hills and bridges.

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