Kerr County crews prep for winter weather

Drivers report wet, icy road conditions in Hill Country

Evidence of Friday's brutal cold front covered Ernie Lara's SUV.

Lara spent the day driving from El Paso to San Antonio and said road conditions only got worse as the day progressed.

"Raining, sleet, cold, icy. The windshield was getting iced up pretty bad. You can see [ice] on the front-end there," Lara said.

With temperatures falling to near-freezing levels, maintenance crews in Kerrville were told to be ready to hit the road if conditions worsened.

"We have 12 men on standby now and throughout the evening and throughout the weekend," said Kerrville Public Works Director Charlie Hastings.

Hastings said he has two trucks loaded with salt and sand at his disposal, but monitoring conditions will be a team effort.

"We rely on our police department also to let us know when there's ice over bridges," Hastings said, "If that happens we'll be notified and send our street crews out to address the problem."

Hastings told residents that the best thing to do is stay inside.

"If you don't have to go out, don't go out. There's a chance of freezing rain throughout the night, stay tuned to local weather stations. Just stay home," Hastings said.

That's exactly what Bandera resident Mike Barnes planned to do, but first he had to make the drive back from Kerrville.

"It's been drizzling rain since Seminole but everything else was clear," Barnes said. "They had the freeway blocked between [Kerrville] and Junction. I don't know what it was, looked like an 18-wheeler had broken down."

TxDOT has been monitoring highway conditions in the Hill Country since Friday afternoon.

"We have crews on standby, prepared for the worst," said TxDOT spokeswoman Laura Lopez. "The trucks are loaded with a de-icing liquid that can help drivers gain traction. They'll put that down if they need to."

With an hour and a half still left on his drive, Ernie Lara said he'll go as slow as he needs to to make sure he gets to San Antonio safely.

"Be careful. Slow down," Lara said. "I got a lot of precious crew with me right here so we're just taking it easy, being careful."

For a list of recent stories Cory Smith has done, click here.

Click here to view more videos on KSAT.com.