UPDATE: I-20 Closed, 60+ Wrecks in Abilene

*****EDITOR'S NOTE: This article was published on BigCountryHomepage.com in December of 2009.*****

10:40 p.m. Update:STAY OFF THE HIGHWAYS!

SHACKELFORD COUNTY URGES DRIVERS TO STAY OFF HWY 351, HWY 180 WEST, AND HWY 283 SOUTH.

THESE ARE THE ALTERNATIVE ROUTES TO THE DFW METROPLEX, BUT DRIVING ON ANY ROAD IS NOT ENCOURAGED!

6:05 p.m. Update:
DRIVING IS HAZARDOUS!

 

IH-20 MP 292, EASTBOUND TRAFFIC IS BLOCKED AT ABILENE (ELMDALE).
IH-20 MP 306, EASTBOUND TRAFFIC IS BLOCKED AT BAIRD (U.S. 283).
IH-20 MP 325, EASTBOUND TRAFFIC IS BLOCKED FIVE MILES WEST OF CISCO, TX.

ALL OF THE ABOVE EASTBOUND TRAFFIC IS BEING RE-ROUTED BACK WEST!

AN ALTERNATE ROUTE FOR EASTBOUND TRAFFIC FROM ABILENE WOULD BE TO TRAVEL TO BROWNWOOD TO US 183 NORTH. THIS HIGHWAY IS ALSO DANGEROUS. IT CONNECTS WITH U.S. 377 AT STEPHENVILLE TO FT. WORTH.

WESTBOUND TRAFFIC IS CLOSED AT RANGER HILL (IH-20 MP 359). THAT TRAFFIC IS BEING TURNED AROUND AND SENT BACK TO WEATHERFORD.

SHELTERS ARE OPEN IN EASTLAND, CISCO, BAIRD AND CLYDE. CALL 211 FOR MORE INFORMATION.

OTHER AREAS OF THE BIG COUNTRY…
AS TEMPERATURES FALL OVERNIGHT, THE SLUSH WILL TURN TO ICE MAKING MORNING TRAVEL DANGEROUS UNTIL THE ROADWAYS CLEAR!

TRAVELERS ARE REQUESTED TO STAY OFF THE HIGHWAYS!
HEEDING THESE WARNINGS COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE.

3:15 p.m. Update:
The Abilene Police Department says its worked 60 accidents in the last 24 hours.

12:20 p.m. Update:
DPS issued the following message:

THE WEATHER CONTINUES TO CAUSE A PROBLEM FOR DRIVERS AS IT MOVES THROUGH THE BIG COUNTRY FROM THE NORTHWEST TO THE SOUTHEAST.

EASTLAND COUNTY REPORTS SEVERAL CRASHES THAT HAVE SHUT DOWN TRAFFIC ON IH-20 FOR EAST-BOUND AND WEST-BOUND MOTORISTS. AT PRESENT THE TEXAS HIGHWAY PATROL TROOPERS ARE WORKING MAJOR CRASHES IN THE CISCO AREA. THERE ARE MANY VEHICLES SIMPLY STUCK ON THE HIGHWAY.

RANGER HILL, LOCATED IN EASTLAND COUNTY, JUST WEST OF ERATH COUNTY LINE IS OF A CONCERN. THE ROADWAY HAS TWO LANES FOR WEST BOUND TRAVEL AND ONLY ONE LANE FOR EAST BOUND TRAVEL. THERE ARE NO ACCESS ROADS IN THIS AREA. AS THE SNOW BEGINS TO ACCUMULATE IN THIS AREA, TRAFFIC WILL BE A PROBLEM. MOTORISTS ARE ENCOURAGED TO STAY HOME, PLAN FOR AN ALTERNATE ROUTE WHEN TRAVEL IS REQUIRED OR EXPECT LONG DELAYS.

NOAA WEATHER ADVISES OF A WINTER STORM WARNING WITH BLIZZARD CONDITIONS UNTIL 3:00 P.M. TODAY. SOME AREAS ARE REPORTING A WHITE OUT EFFECT. THIS MEANS BLOWING SNOW ALONG WITH A SNOW COVERED ROADWAY IS MAKING VISIBILITY LIMITED.

DRIVING IS HAZARDOUS!
DRIVING IS HAZARDOUS!
DRIVING IS HAZARDOUS!

IF YOU TRAVEL, SLOW DOWN, USE YOUR HEADLIGHTS AND PREPARE FOR LONG DELAYS!

TRAVEL IN COLEMAN AND BROWN COUNTIES IS EXPECTED TO BE A PROBLEM. 10:15 a.m. Update:
From Jim Bryan, City of Abilene: This morning’s conference call led by NWS in San Angelo warns of treacherous travel conditions for the next 6-8 hours from Callahan County to Ranger Hill and possibly further east. Winds are forecast sustained 30-50 MPH with blowing snow and temps in the 20s later tonight in this area. Conditions should improve tomorrow.

9:15 a.m. Update:
Lenka Wright with the City of Abilene says due to wintry weather conditions, roads are becoming slick. Street crews are out and treating roadways when needed. Drive with caution.

8:15 a.m. Update:
The Texas Department of public safety just sent the following information about the deteriorating road conditions.

DUE TO BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW, SOME ROADWAYS HAVE BECOME IMPASSIBLE. MANY OF THE ROADWAYS IN THE BIG COUNTRY HAVE BECOME VERY DANGEROUS DUE TO SNOW FALLING AND ACCUMULATING ON THE HIGHWAYS.

THE TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY HAS NUMEROUS REPORTS OF STRANDED MOTORISTS TO THE NORTH AND WEST OF ABILENE, TEXAS. IN SEVERAL COUNTIES THE TEXAS HIGHWAY PATROL REPORT PROBLEMS OF SIMPLY GETTING TO THE STRANDED MOTORISTS DUE TO ZERO TRACTION BECAUSE OF SNOW DRIFTS ON ROADWAYS. THE TEXAS HIGHWAY PATROL AND TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION ARE WORKING TO GET TO MOTORISTS THAT ARE ALREADY STRANDED ON OUR AREA HIGHWAYS.

U.S. HIGHWAY 84 IN SCURRY COUNTY (SNYDER) IS IMPASSIBLE AT THIS TIME. IH-20 IN MITCHELL COUNTY (COLORADO CITY) IS IMPASSIBLE AT THIS TIME.

MOTORISTS ARE REQUESTED TO DELAY TRAVEL UNTIL ROADWAYS HAVE BEEN CLEARED OR THE WEATHER GETS BETTER.

ROAD CONDITION HOTLINE 1-800-452-9292.

Authorities in Nolan County have reported a handful of accidents. Scanner traffic in Taylor County indicates a couple accidents being worked there as well and conditions are deteriorating. Authorities in Jones County tell us they've seen a few accidents along Highway 83 south of Anson.

Earlier this morning, we drove along the Winters Freeway as snow slammed the windshield. While the roadway wasn't bad at all, the snow did make it difficult to see.

Authorities ask that you be extra careful when heading out for holiday travel.


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