Although a winter storm that brought as much as two inches of ice accumulation to Clay County has passed, weather conditions and roads could remain treacherous through Wednesday, according to a National Weather Service forecast.
Lows dropped into the lower teens early Saturday morning with an expected high of 21 degrees. The NWS forecasts a low of 17 degrees Saturday night, allowing any melt that occurs on roadways to refreeze. Clay County has a 20 percent chance of mixed snow and sleet Saturday, and a 30 percent into Saturday night.
Temperatures in Clay County to rise slightly above freezing on Sunday, but only for a short period, and with a chance of freezing drizzle. The low Sunday night is expected to be 19 degrees and mostly cloudy. Monday’s high is a forecasted 30 degrees, with lows at 11 degrees. Monday will be mostly cloudy.
The extreme cold temperatures will begin to break Tuesday, with highs predicted at 36 degrees and a low of 21. Wednesday is expected to reach 40 degrees. The rest of the week is expected to be clear and sunny, which will help in thawing roads.
TxDOT crews have been working 12-hour shift since Thursday to clear roads, concentrating on major arteries such as Hwy. 287 and Hwy. 82. Both roads are passable, but caution is urged. As of Friday night, Hwy. 148 north and south of Henrietta are covered in a layer of ice and sleet. Current road conditions are available by calling 1-800-452-9292.
“Motorists are reminded that just because they see TxDOT crews out working the roads, they will not be able to travel at the posted speed limit,” said Adele Lewis, public information officer at TxDOT. “Drivers must slow down and be responsible for their own safety.”
Residents also are urged to take precautions at home. Use fireplaces, wood stoves and combustible heaters only if they are in good working order and properly ventilated. Keep space heaters three feet away from anything combustible, such as curtains, bed sheets, furniture or clothes. Do not leave candles or any other open flame unattended. Do not use gas or charcoal grills indoors.