Amazing What a Little Snow Can Do Rhonda Oaks January, 2021
Sometimes all it takes is a little snow to give you a new perspective and put you in a good mood. I started getting excited about the possibility of snow days before it began to fall. That’s because it’s a rare event in deep East Texas.
We have our share of hurricanes and tornadoes, ice or horrific thunderstorms, but experiencing that quiet flutter of snowflakes as they descend from the clouds is something most of us around here get downright giddy about.
The flakes seemed huge when they began to fall. They drifted to the ground as if tiny snow angels were gently setting them down. Then it began to accumulate and most of were planning a snow day from school or work the next day.
Photos of excited children and adults gathering in their front yards on a Sunday afternoon began to pop up from friends on our social media pages. The conversation revolved around how many inches of snow fell. My phone began to ring with questions about road conditions and calls from the media asking for interviews and photos.
While all of this was going on, our TxDOT crews were working. They began days before the incoming weather by pre-treating roads, bridges and elevated surfaces. Those preparations would enhance the safety of the road and help prevent any moisture from freezing. Roads were re-treated with brine mixture while the snow was still falling as well as the day after.
If you follow me at TxDOT Lufkin on Facebook or Twitter, you saw the information and the photos of their work. Most people never took notice of the TxDOT trucks and crews working day and night through those days. We were consumed with the sight of the beautiful snow.
Unfortunately, a few drivers forgot to slow down in winter weather. It’s understandable since we see so little of it. Some vehicles slid off the roadway. Thank goodness, most motorists made it to their destinations safely. Many drivers stayed off the road during the snow storm. They gave our crews room and time to work. Between Sunday night and Tuesday morning, roads were cleared and all were open. Trees, limbs and debris had been removed.
But for a brief couple of days, most of us made memories with our families. We were transported back to our own childhoods as we played with our children and grandchildren. Our cares disappeared and we gained a happy, relaxed perspective. We laughed as we sipped hot chocolate and watched children throw snowballs. The stress and worry of our present times faded away and all that mattered was that moment in time.
No doubt, we will talk about the snowstorm of 2021 for a long time. Our crews made it home safely, the snow melted and we are now back to the East Texas humidity and fast-approaching spring and summer temperatures. But there was this one Sunday afternoon that changed us, put us all in a good mood, and just like a child, we played in the snow.
Rhonda Oaks is a Public Information Officer for the Texas Department of Transportation and resides in Lufkin.
If you would like to comment on this story, we'd love to hear from you. Email us at email@example.com. Be sure to include the story subject in the subject line of your email, also list your name and town in your letter. Your letter will be posted in Letters to the Editor.