A forecast of winter weather prompted local businesses, community members and other entities to prepare or make scheduling adjustments.
Christmas festivities were rescheduled, multiple flights were canceled, at least one school district planned to delay school today, and some residents stocked up on groceries before the weekend.
KYTX CBS 19 Chief Meteorologist John Adams said a mix of freezing rain and rain is expected this morning and freezing rain this afternoon.
He said it should end by this evening before another wave comes in during the weekend.
“Travel will probably be worse this weekend than Friday,” Adams said.
Texas Department of Transportation Spokesman Larry Krantz said they were able to have a “good dress rehearsal” when there was a possibility of ice and snow during Thanksgiving week, and TxDOT still has adequate supplies to de-ice roads.
He said workers were projected to go on duty about midnight today and start riding roads, depending on weather conditions.
Before trucks are sent out, he said workers are driving roads and looking for trouble spots before they become bigger trouble spots. He noted that bridges and overpasses are top priority.
“It’s a team effort. It’s long and sometimes tedious work. It can be dangerous,” Krantz said.
Therefore, he said TxDOT asks drivers to watch for crews that are out de-icing and to move over and slow down as necessary.
Although a road may be de-iced, it doesn’t mean people can continue to drive as if roads were clear, Krantz said. He encouraged drivers to leave distance around them as they drive.
“We want everybody to go home safely and reach their destination safely,” Krantz said.
“In order to make that happen, we’ll all have to work together,” he added.
At Brookshire’s on East Fifth Street in Tyler, one woman said she was shopping on her lunch break rather than waiting until the weekend.
Brookshire’s Assistant Store Manager Derek Jones had recently arrived at work Thursday, but said the store was supposed to order extra firewood and other items, such as soups and chili.
At Home Depot, Assistant Manager Omar Navarro said early Thursday that the day had been “kind of slow” so far, but would pick up as the weather gets colder.
He said the store already had prepared so certain items, such as faucet covers, pipe insulation and ice melt, would be easily accessible to customers at the front.
“We’re always trying to prepare for the customer and make sure things are ready for them,” Navarro said.
“Our associates are prepared to help them out … so they can get home and get their homes ready for the cold.”