County crews are gearing up to take on icy roads

With Mother Nature threatening to storm into town and wreak havoc, road crews are gearing up and preparing for her arrival.

"We are very prepared," says Precinct 4 Harris County Commissioner Jack Cagle. 

The equipment has been fired up, tested out and is ready to go "but especially what we’ve done is we’ve gone out and you may have seen we are street sweeping our bridges as we speak," the Commissioner explains.

Starting with clean streets before attacking ice-covered roads with crushed limestone chat rock makes it more effective as far as grip goes "And when it’s crushed by the cars driving over it, it actually creates a little bit of a chemical reaction so it makes the freezing point of the water drop. By putting that out there with the clean streets it allows us to recycle it when the storm is over with," says Commissioner Cagle.

Road crews will go back out and, sort of, vacuum up the rock they laid out.

LIST: Ice reported on Houston-area roadways

Here are locations where ice is being reported on Houston-area roadways.

Meantime, Precinct 4 workers are using about a dozen specialized vehicles, simply converting the same dump trucks used to rescue flood victims and haul away storm debris. 

"We’re very confident with us working the way we are we’ll be able to cover our 2,700 plus miles of road in precinct 4 and our 300 plus bridges," Cagle explains. By the way, when the trucks are spreading the streets with Chat Rock keep your distance. 

"Many people in Harris County and Houston don’t know if you tailgate behind the truck when it’s laying the rock down they’re about to get a new paint job," the Commissioner warns.       

Expert recommends protecting your pipes ahead of arctic blast

If you have exposed pipes, now is the time to think about insulating them ahead of the expected cold freeze.

You may not have the heavy equipment but you can still be part of the team by calling in if you see an area that needs to be serviced.

"We’re deputizing every citizen out there. If you’re out there and you see a spot that needs to have a little Type F Chad Rock thrown on there call us. Also if you’re aware of trees that go down, because we’ll have a problem with trees and power lines, call us," says Commissioner Cagle.

The phone number to Precinct 4 Community Assistance is 832-927-4444.