After A Day Of Ice, Better Weather Is On The Way

Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management- Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Image provided by Harris County OHSEC.
Local emergency officials will finally get a break after two icy days within the past week. The county’s top emergency manager says reacting to icy roads is a lot different than preparing for a hurricane.

The Winter Storm Warning was allowed to expire and the National Weather Service then issued a Winter Weather Advisory.

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett serves as director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management during drastic weather changes. He says take away the ice factor, it's not much different than preparing for a hurricane.

"Typically in a county and city as far south as we are ... yeah, ice events don't last very long. Whereas hurricanes, the preparations for those is you know, we start 120 hours out before landfall, and then the storm and then the after-storm, and so those are much long events. These are much easier on the staff here at the Office of Emergency Management."

Motorists take their chances when you throw in precipitation with freezing temperatures.

Raquelle Lewis with the Texas Department of Transportation says having two ice events in the period of a week tested the agency's readiness.

"Our goal is to stay prepared. I mean, certainly we just had an incident last week, and so very quickly we had to ramp up and get some additional supplies in. We work as a uniformed team from the state operation perspective and so, if we don't have ready supply available here in Houston, then our districts from around the state will certainly make sure that we have ready supplies."

She adds while Houston and Southeast Texas are more known for heat and humidity, winter on the Bayou in the form of ice cold and wind can be just as severe.

"We're continuing to look at ways to make that better. I mean, there are always opportunities for improvement, and as long as we can have the staff ready and available, we're on top of it."  

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Pat Hernandez

Reporter

Pat Hernandez is a general assignments reporter who joined the KUHF news staff in February of 2008...