Wet weather makes it a difficult year for truck drivers

From floods to tornadoes, Texas has seen more than its fair share of weather this spring.
 
"The weather's been, I think, exceptionally bad this year," said Desiree Violette who drives trucks for Schneider.

That has made traveling more complicated than usual.

"The roads are washing away, the roads are closed, we got to look up alternate routes on a regular basis on how to get around," said Ronny Wetlaufer who also drives for Schneider.  

Violette and Wetlaufer have been on the road in a big rig for the last three months.

"Virtually everything that people own is delivered via truck, so people don't realize that we've got to keep moving," said Violette.  

This year that means not just navigating the roads, but also the storms.

"It just seems like wherever we're going now there's always like, 'Oh my God this is bad weather.' And now Texas and we actually had to shut down one night in Oklahoma because of tornado threats," said Violette.  

That's costing truck companies and their employees.

"Of course it's all a trickle-down effect so it's going to affect the drivers too and, God forbid, the owner/operators out here that they have to worry about. That's their money and can really set things back," said Violette.  

Truckers driving from Texas to Oklahoma had to deal with a major re-route this week after flooding led to a rock slide that landed on I-35.

"It was bumper to bumper mostly. A lot of trucks, of course it's slow going and the water was everywhere," said Wetlauffer.

Sunday, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation opened one lane in each direction while crews work to stabilize the rock face on the northbound side of the interstate.

"We've got to get our deliveries on time and we try to get our estimated time of arrival, but sometimes it doesn't work out because of issues like this and the weather. If it's not raining and rockslides, while wintertime you've got snow and ice. It goes on and on," said Wetlauffer.

To avoid I-35 near the Texas/Oklahoma border the Department of Transportation is advising drivers to use US-81 or US-69. So far there is no expected date to fully reopen the interstate.

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