"We knew most of the precipitation was going to move in today so we had crews out pre-treating the roadways yesterday," said TxDOT spokesperson Brad Wheelis.
However, their work is just beginning. Throughout the day Thursday, trucks continued to treat troublesome roads. "We are looking for those hotspots out there those trouble spots," said Wheelis.
"We have a one-two plan, we go in and pretreat before the weather arrives and then our crews are on standby and are driving the roads," said Diann Hodges with TxDOT. "We can’t be everywhere at all times, as long as it keeps raining and icing it’s a continuous process."
Wheelis said most of those trouble spots were north of Austin Thursday morning along SH 29, Highway 195, and also along FM 3406 in Cedar Park. The chemicals they use to treat roads prevents ice from forming.
"One is brine and it's a mixture, liquid we put together and make ourselves in the district. And then we have magnesium chloride, it's a granular mixture we put down and most of the time that goes onto the bridges and overpasses so we some traction," said Wheelis.
Accidents persisted across the area, including in Leander, where officers even cited someone for driving too fast after a two-car crash.
"We are seeing a lot of people that aren't used to driving in this type of weather. Speed is going to be that critical factor for you as far as whether you are able to control your vehicle," said Leander Fire Chief Billy Wusterhausen.
Chief Wusterhausen is hoping the city doesn't have to deal with power outages through the cold snap. "The road conditions, if that's all we have to deal with that'll be good. We do worry about power lines and trees falling into power lines or across roadways and the impact it has on us and our ability to respond to these calls," he said.
The threat of icy roads will remain overnight. With more bone-chilling temps on the way in the coming days, TxDOT is urging all to stay off the road if possible. "You should assume when you’re out there on the roadway, that there is ice on the roadway," said Wheelis.
Hodges said, "If you don’t have to be somewhere first thing in the morning, and you can push that off until the weather can get above freezing and give mother nature a chance to work and melt some of that, that would be our advice."
Hodges says that TxDOT crews will be out all night. Drivers can stay updated on road conditions and closures by using DriveTexas.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for Central Texas until 12 a.m. on Friday, Feb 12. Residents in the area can expect blustery, rainy, and cold conditions across the area today.
Temperatures will remain nearly steady, with highs ranging from the lower 30s to lower 40s. North winds will be gusty from 15 to 25 mph. Some freezing rain may mix in with rain, especially across the Hill Country.
Track your local forecast for the Austin area quickly with the free FOX 7 WAPP. The design gives you radar, hourly, and 7-day weather information just by scrolling. Our weather alerts will warn you early and help you stay safe during storms.