North Texas Daily

Denton tries to stay safe through cold

Denton tries to stay safe through cold

Denton tries to stay safe through cold
February 23
23:38 2015

Rhiannon Saegert / News Editor

Frozen roads, closed businesses and delayed openings are plaguing Denton, but in previous years freezing conditions have quickly turned from annoying to dangerous.

Denton Police Department media relations officer Ryan Grelle said he remembers worse conditions last year, when an ice storm trapped people in their cars on Interstate 35, forcing them to sleep there or risk freezing. He said it’s safest to avoid driving, but there are some precautions drivers can take if travel is unavoidable.

“For vehicles I’d say, most importantly, have extra blankets,” Grelle said. “Basically a weekend bag: pants, shirts, extra socks and underwear, also a blanket or a sleeping bag.”

Grelle said he has not heard of any Denton residents becoming trapped in their cars this time, but drivers should always be cautious.

“The ice that’s falling now is obviously going to refreeze tonight,” Grelle said yesterday. “Just because it’s thawing doesn’t mean it’s not going to be slick.”

Some Denton residents have taken matters into their own hands. UNT alumnus Rony Daniel offered to help stranded strangers move their cars through the ice by posting on Reddit. He said he and his friends did the same thing last year.

“We were just out there, we had a couple of friends and we were just hauling people out of the ice,” he said. “I have a four-wheel drive truck. Otherwise I would have been pretty useless.”

Daniel said he made the post to be helpful, but hasn’t had to help anyone yet.

Kerr Hall residence assistant Sarah Amberson said she was present for the 2014 Icepocalypse.

“I don’t think we’re in for the same kind of [weather]. I imagine it’ll clear up, but we’re in Texas so who knows?” Amberson said.

Residence halls don’t stock extra blankets or supplies in case of freezing conditions, but there are measures in place for residence assistants.

“We do ice melt,” Amberson said. “Everyone knows to put it out and the facilities assistants help clear pathways. We also communicate with housing and dining.”

Grelle said even though conditions are not as bad as last year, they could still pose a threat.

“We’re not supposed to be above freezing for a couple days,” Grelle said. “We’ll be back in the same situation we were in  Monday morning.”

Featured Image: Students trek across ice and slush that gathered yesterday in the Library Mall.  Photo by Byron Thompson – Senior Staff Photographer

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