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It's going to be freezing and freezing for quite some time in East Texas beginning Saturday.

An arctic blast is diving down through the central part of the nation and will be blowing through sometime on Saturday and once it passes it's going to be bitterly cold. We've already experienced some winter weather thanks to a couple of cold fronts that have moved through already. Freezing rain and a light sleet mixture is what we've seen so far, but come this weekend and through mid-week, we're expected to see lots more in the form of sleet and snow too.

With all of this nasty winter weather predicted to fall upon East Texas roadways, TxDOT, the City Of Tyler, City Of Longview and surrounding cities are preparing roadways for the worst. TxDOT is maintaining the interstate system, state highways and farm to market roads while the individual cities are prepping their local streets. These entities have several weapons at their disposal to help motorists get to where they're going - a brine mixture, salt, sand, gravel and more. While you may not see some of these tools being deployed immediately, they are on standby for when the time comes.

TxDOT Public Information Officer Kathi White says,

While pre-treating does help keep ice and snow from sticking to the roads, and improve traction, drivers must adjust their driving behaviors to the weather conditions to ensure safety. Drivers must be responsible behind the wheel but also know that the safest option is to stay home if road conditions deteriorate. It will take all of us doing our part to safely get through this storm."

When it comes to winter weather driving, remember these tips:

  • Make sure everyone is safely buckled by their seatbelt.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination.
  • Slow down and use caution on icy or slick roadways.
  • Be mindful that bridges and overpasses will freeze before the roadway will.
  • If you start to slide, ease off the gas, do not brake and steer into the direction of the skid until you feel you have regained traction.
  • If stranded, call 9-1-1 and remain in your vehicle.

If you're traveling, you can always check road conditions by visiting DriveTexas.org.

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