With sleet and snow in the forecast, city prepares to treat streets and bridges for ice.


The Erath County Courthouse during last year's winter wonderland.

By SARA VANDEN BERGE


Stephenville city manager Allen Barnes isn’t taking the chance of getting caught off guard by wonky weather that includes sleet and snow in this week’s forecast.


“The sand trucks are loaded and ready to go,” Barnes told Beneath the Surface News on Monday. “We are anticipating winter weather and I would rather over-prepare than get caught by surprise.”

Everyone, after all, knows how quickly the weather in Texas can change.


Barnes said city officials are staying in contact with the National Weather Service to monitor the situation.

“The NWS is calling for sub-freezing temperatures to begin in Erath County overnight on Wednesday (into Thursday). The switch from rain to winter precipitation depends on when we drop below freezing,” Barnes said. “The earlier we dip below freezing, the higher chance of accumulation.”


Stephenville is currently listed as having a moderate risk of accumulation.

Barnes said city crews will treat the roads with a sandy/clay-like solution called “chat.”


“We anticipate sending our crews out very early Thursday morning to sand the streets, but the timing has to be right,” he said. “We don’t want to put out the chat and have the rain wash it away.”

Thursday’s high is only expected to reach 25 degrees with temperatures dipping into the low teens.


Friday’s high is 34 degrees with a low of 13.


“Our goal is to help folks get to school and work safely and make it home at end of the day,” Barnes said. “We will monitor the weather all week.”