City: Longview residents could see temporary, isolated water disturbances
The City of Longview on Friday morning warned residents they could see "temporary, isolated service disturbances" as crews address water leaks across the city.
"The City's water system continues to have adequate supply and pressure, but localized disruptions may occur in areas where crews are working to fix leaks," the city said in a statement.
"The City is particularly thankful to Public Works staff who have been and will continue to work day and night in the cold to fix problems as they arise.
"Public Works also oversees the condition of City streets. Crews continue to monitor the streets and apply a sanding material in key trouble spots; however, the City is not equipped to clear snow from roads. As such, the focus is on addressing icy conditions on bridges and roadways.
"Thankfully, the warming weather in the forecast should help clear roads soon. In the meantime, residents are encouraged to be patient and avoid traveling unless necessary."
Longview police: Streets are icy, dangerous
Longview police just before 11 a.m. issued a warning to residents that roads in the city are icy and that driving is dangerous.
"Wow, it is still cold outside," the Longview Police Department said at 10:50 a.m. on its Facebook page. "As the snow melts, it’s exposing slick ice on the roadway. Most streets have a sheet of ice covering them and are very dangerous to drive on right now. If you have to go out, please drive slowly, give yourself plenty of room with the vehicle in front of you and allow extra time to get to your destination."
TxDOT discourages travel on Interstate 20
The Texas Department of Transportation Tyler District is discouraging travel on Interstate 20 citing "major issues for drivers."
In a statement posted at 10:20 a.m. on Twitter, the district aid eastbound traffic is "at a crawl" from U.S. 271 through Smith, Gregg counties and beyond.
The district is continuing to blade and treat roadways, but it says travel is treacherous and "dire."
The Texas Department of Public Safety is working crashes and instances where vehicles have slid off the road, according to TxDOT.
Specifically, TxDOT cautioned:
- Eastbound traffic is at a crawl from FM 14 in Smith County to the Gregg County line.
- The westbound lanes through Gregg, Smith and Van Zandt are currently flowing, but traffic is being detoured to the ramps at Mile Marker 579 (Joy-Wright Mountain Road) due to a crash, and then back to I-20.
Eastbound I-20 closed at Louisiana state line
Eastbound Interstate 20 is closed into Louisiana due to ice on the roadways and crashes, and traffic is backed up into Harrison County, officials say.
The Harrison County Sheriff’s Office said today could be a treacherous day as a thaw begins in the area.
Waskom-area gas stations are closed or have no fuel. Deputies, DPS, and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department game wardens will be assisting on the area roadways and answering calls for assistance with crashes, as well as checking on stranded motorists. The roadways will be very slushy and refreeze creating a very uneven surface. The ice will cause you to lose traction and control.
“While this has been a true test of our area resources, our most valuable resource is our community,” Harrison County Sheriff Brandon “B.J.” Fletcher said. “Please do not put yourself in harm’s way by getting on the roadways. Be safe and stay inside where it is warm. Stay off of the ice on ponds. A young boy was saved, yesterday in Jefferson, after he walked out onto what he thought was a frozen pond. The ice gave way and he plunged into the water. Thankfully, he was rescued by another person who saw him and summoned aid.”
Rusk County Sheriff's Office: These roads are open
The Rusk County Sheriff's Office Friday morning posted a list of roads that are open as the Texas Department of Transportation continues to work on them in the area.
According to the sheriff's office:
- U.S. 259 has at least one lane open all the way through the county.
- Texas 149 from Gregg County to Tatum is open.
- Texas 315 has been cleared.
- Texas 43 has been cleared.
- The FM roads in Pct. 4 are improving.
- FM 1798 on both sides of U.S. 259 will be worked on Friday.
- FM 95 from Minden to U.S. 84 is open.
TxDOT will be focusing on Texas 323 and U.S. 64 today.
City of Kilgore: 'The roads are still terrible'
Kilgore city officials on Friday morning continued to advise residents to stay home and off the roads.
"The roads are still terrible, and we continue to hear stories of people being stranded on major roadways," the City of Kilgore said at 8:22 a.m. on its Facebook page.
"There is no super secret off-road vehicle that is vastly better than yours to come save you," the statement said. "Please, unless you have an absolutely critical reason to go out, stay home."
The city is under a boil water notice that could last a week. The city on Friday morning reminded residents to conserve water.
"We are hearing reports that some areas of town are seeing water pressure slowly increase," the post said. "Please remember, do not use water if you don't need to, please close your faucets, do not do laundry, shower, bathe, or any other water intensive use."
DPS: Eastbound interstate 20 traffic impeded FM 14 to Gregg County
Traffic on eastbound Interstate 20 between FM 14 and the Gregg County line is impeded due to icy conditions, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
"The Department continues to urged motorists to avoid travel if possible," DPS said in a statement.
Longview Public Library opens again as warming shelter
The city of Longview is again opening a warming shelter at the Longview Public library today (Friday) from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The city first opened the library, 222 Cotton St., as a warming shelter from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday.
According to a statement from the city, food and beverages will not be provided at the facility. Residents are encouraged to bring their own snacks, supplies and device chargers.
The library will be closed Saturday and Sunday before returning to normal hours on Monday.
"Hiway 80 Rescue Mission (3117 W. Marshall Ave.) and The Salvation Army of Longview (519 E. Cotton St.) have also opened as warming shelters for those without power who need a place to stay warm," the statement said. "Roads remain icy, and travel is discouraged at this time. If you must be on the road, please use extreme caution. Visit LongviewTexas.gov/RoadClosures for an up-to-date listing of road closures and issues."