By Anthony Scott
Killeen Daily Herald
To prevent a bridge from turning into a ski slope, Killeen police closed the roadway between W.S. Young Drive and Rancier Avenue early Friday. Snow quickly accumulated overnight, creating a slick barrier between vehicle tires and ice-cold pavement.
"It's always the first road to close," said Killeen Police Department spokeswoman Carroll Smith. "It has nothing underneath it. It's a big bridge and it's the highest point, so it's going to get the worse conditions on it and there's nothing to insulate it underneath."
There were at least 42 fender benders counted since 7 a.m. Friday, Smith said around midday.
To mitigate the snow, the city had four trucks sanding hills, bridges and intersections, with crews working 12-hour shifts throughout the snow event and the following day, said John Koester, Killeen director of street services.
"We tell everybody to stay home," Koester said. "That's the biggest thing we want them to do. ... What I noticed is it started out as nice, pretty, fluffy snow and as soon as the cars started driving, they started packing it."
Harker Heights Public Works Director Mark Hyde said the city had not closed any roads during the snow event as of 11 a.m. Friday. It had two sand trucks dispersed to mitigate snow.
Other effects were felt at the city level, including shortened office hours.
Executive Director of Public Information Hilary Shine said city of Killeen offices closed at 4 p.m., but garbage collection in most areas continued.
"Collection routes having roads with steep grades or inclines will be avoided for safety reasons," she said. "Routes that are not completed (Friday) will be completed (today) when weather conditions are expected to improve."
Shine advised residents to leave unemptied trash containers at the curb for pickup today. Any commercial routes not completed Friday will be picked up today as well.
Shine also said the Transfer Station, the central facility for solid waste in Killeen, was open for business Friday but closed at 3 p.m. It will be open its normal hours, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. today.
Killeen residents and businesses are allowed to use the facility and can bring their latest utility bill as proof of residency, Shine said.
The Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport was not free from the effects of snow. American Airlines canceled flights departing at 4:35 p.m. and 7:35 p.m. and arriving at 4:10 p.m. and 7:10 p.m. Continental flights affected Thursday night and Friday morning, were running on time by Friday evening.
American Airlines passengers can call (800) 433-7300 to check the status of their flights to and from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
Contact Anthony Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcity.