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Stories Added - February 2011
Copyright 2010 - Polk County Publishing Company


‘Non-event’ thanks to most residents staying off roads


By Valerie Reddell

LIVINGSTON — The three-to four inches of snow forecast for Polk County went AWOL, but the quarter-inch of ice that did cover roads throughout the area is far more dangerous, weather officials said Friday. Both County Judge John Thompson and Livingston City Manager Marilyn Sutton said Polk County’s “nonevent” was entirely due to the fact that most residents stayed off the roadways. City of Livingston Street Department crews began putting out de-icing material on bridges at 1 a.m. The overpass on the Loop 59 bypass, Long King Creek bridge and Choate’s Creek bridges on Houston and Washington streets were de-iced at 1 a.m. and again at 10 a.m. after vehicle traffic had moved most of the rock to the edge of the roadway, according to Sutton. One car slid off the bypass during the night, but that incident did not cause any injuries. An external valve placed on fire hydrant at Tyler and Calhoun streets failed at about 8:30 p.m. Thursday night and began spraying water, but firefighter Dandy Bergman and a water department staff member quickly shut off the hydrant. No power outages were reported in the City of Livingston, Sutton said. Sam Houston Electric Cooperative only had a single customer report an outage during the night, according to spokesman Keith Stapleton. At noon Friday, the Lufkin district office of the Texas Department of Transportation reported bridges were iced over in Polk County, but no roads were closed. Crews were continuing to spread rock on roadways as needed, according to Kathi White, TxDOT spokeswoman. “Just because you don’t see ice on the roadways and structures, doesn’t mean it is not there,” White said. “Drive to conditions and expect that there are slick and icy areas out there and expect it to remain so as rain, snow and/ or sleet continue to fall.” The Polk County Emergency Operations Center opened for a short time during the freeze. “We opened the EOC on a limited basis to make sure we could respond to any problems if they came up,” Thompson said. SHECO kept call center staff and technicians onduty throughout the night to quickly address any power outages. “The one individual case this morning was very nice to see,” Stapleton said. “That was in the entire 10-county service area.”


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