In what is being dubbed “Ice Friday” throughout much of Texas, many cities in the upper northeast quadrant of the state were at a standstill as ice, freezing rain and sleet rendered travel a dubious venture.
In DFW, hundreds of flights were delayed, and almost 100,000 people faced power outages. In Young County every public school was closed, and road crews worked throughout the day to salt streets and clear roads of ice.
Throughout Thursday evening and into Friday morning, sleet and freezing rain left a layer of ice across Graham and all surrounding cities. Because the weekend forecast doesn't project temperatures to rise above freezing until Sunday, most of it is likely to remain until late into the weekend.
All week, people in Young County flooded grocery stores to gather provisions, and by Thursday, some stores were running out of basic necessities. On Friday, Britain Brewer, Manager of United Grocery Store in Graham said that while they have had a number of rushes over the week, they've managed to keep up with demand.
“We're open and ready for business,” he said. “We did run out of milk late last night, but other than that, we've held up pretty well. We had a delivery last night, and we did have a delivery truck leave Lubbock at 5 a.m. today heading to us, so we should be fine. I'm not too sure they (customers) didn't run over us with a Mack truck on Tuesday and Wednesday, but other than that, we've been doing good.” Brewer also wanted to thank his team members, without whom his store could not have serviced the community during the inclement weather.
Work crews also worked feverishly to clear major roads in Graham, and snow plows and other utility trucks could be seen throughout the city clearing major roads such as Elm Street, and then working their way to the smaller streets.
Sandra Edwards, Assistant EMC for Graham, said that workers for the city of Graham have been working to abate the effects of the storm since Thursday night.
“Right now the street department has had two different teams working through the night, and we have the Young County Arena set up so that if we need it to, we can use it as a shelter,” Edwards said. “We have a new water tank sanitized and ready in case it needs to go the hospital, and we have several generators ready for backup. We also have extra sand and salt to help with the road clearing effort.”
Jack Edwards, foreman for the Graham street crew and husband of Sandra Edwards, said that while travel is not impossible, he urged caution.
“We have all of our street crew out, and part of us were out there since last night scraping ice,” he said. “We've been salting entrance ways to places like City Hall and the arena and places like that. If you don't have to get out, don't. But we're seeing that people are able to travel as long as they're cautious. But it really is a case of if you don't have to travel, don't. We're still waiting to see what happens. If we get an overcoat over what we had on Thursday night, then it could end up being bad. We just have to see what the weather does, really.”
The precipitation had stopped briefly on Friday morning, but as of press time, some weather stations were still predicting more possible freezing rain and sleet for Friday and Saturday.