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Arctic cold front To bring hazardous conditions

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111524 bad weatherWeather conditions as of Monday 6 a.m. from the National Weather Service for Polk County

From Enterprise Staff

An arctic blast is expected to send temperatures plummeting to 20-30 degrees below normal over the weekend and into Wednesday, giving the area the coldest temperatures in years and creating hazardous conditions.

The National Weather Service has forecasted temperatures as low as 23 degrees on Monday morning, 17 degrees on Tuesday morning, and 16 degrees on Wednesday morning. The Polk County area may have approximately 61 consecutive hours of below-freezing temperatures.

According to Dan Reilly of the Houston/Galveston National Weather Service, an arctic cold front was forecast to cross the area from north to south late Saturday night or early Sunday morning. Behind the front, a very cold air mass will overspread the area bringing very low temperatures and wind chills.

Dangerously cold windchill values of 16 degrees Monday morning, 2 degrees Tuesday morning, and 10 degrees Wednesday morning are in the forecast. Limit time outdoors to reduce risk of hypothermia.

Light freezing rain or freezing drizzle is possible starting late Sunday night into Monday evening. Amounts are uncertain, but generally less than 0.10 inches is expected. There is a probability of minor impacts from icing, mainly icy patches on roadways, especially bridges and overpasses, and slick spots on sidewalks.

Crews with the Texas Department of Transportation in the nine-county Lufkin District began pre-treatment operations and shift work on Friday ahead of a winter weather event expected late Sunday.

A meeting was held Wednesday morning to plan emergency operations and responses. Crews will begin placing a brine mixture on major roadways, overpasses, and bridges Friday ahead of the predicted winter weather. Crews will again treat Saturday and/or Sunday, if needed. 

If freezing precipitation occurs, workers will monitor and inspect roadways and bridges, and again treat with brine, if necessary. Should roadways need to be cleared of winter precipitation, equipment will be staged for quicker response times in local areas. Tier I roadways will be treated and monitored. Those roadways include U.S. 59 and U.S. 259. Bridges and overpasses throughout the district will also be treated, including those on U.S. 69, U.S. 190, U.S. 84, U.S. 287, and U.S. 259, S.H. 94, S.H. 103, S.H. 7, S.H. 21 and others throughout the district.

“While we know how unpredictable East Texas weather can be, TxDOT plans to be prepared and respond appropriately should we see extreme winter weather,” public information officer Rhonda Oaks said. “We ask that motorists slow down and give our crews room to work, should they encounter TxDOT vehicles and workers preparing the roadways.”

Brine operations are a moving work zone. Motorists should obey all traffic control in place, do not try to pass a TxDOT moving convoy placing brine, and stay alert for the possibility of crews working near the roadways during this time.

For more information on work TxDOT will perform, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 936-633-4395. To monitor TXDOT road conditions, visit www.DriveTexas.org.

All are encouraged to check people, pets, pipes, plants and pools. Check on your family, elderly and neighbors that may need help winterizing their home or a warm place to stay. Bring pets indoors. Ensure adequate warmth for livestock. Cover or insulate exposed pipes, including those pipes underneath raised homes. Apply a thick layer of mulch around plants. Water your plants, which helps trap heat or slow heat loss around the plant. Cover plants or bring potted plants inside a shelter or into your garage.

Life Vine Church in Livingston has communicated to Polk County Emergency Management that their Thirty-Two Degrees ministry will be operational Sunday night, Monday (all day, possibly into Tuesday) Friday and Saturday. For more information and details on the Thirty-Two Degrees ministry, contact Life Vine Church.

To view the Texas Division of Emergency Management’s warming center map, go to https://tdem.maps.arcgis.com/apps/instant/interactivelegend/index.html?appid=063f8332ed0 24ebe8cf0760576311d0f.

Polk County Emergency Management urges everyone to remain informed on weather and local hazards by following their Facebook page, visiting www.PolkCountyOEM.com and by registering with AlertMePolkCounty to receive emergency alerts at https://polk.genasys.com/portal/en.

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