HOUSTON – Several minor crashes were reported as road crews responded to icy conditions across the Houston area Tuesday morning as temperatures bottomed out in the 10s and 20s. No precipitation fell overnight, so the icy conditions were caused by water draining onto the roadways from sprinkler systems and water leaks.
Shortly before 5 a.m. crews treated both sides of the Westpark Tollway with sand after ice formed on the underpass at the Southwest Freeway. The tollway was briefly closed in both directions.
Patches of ice were reported along S. Gessner near Highway 290, and a major crash was reported nearby at Hempstead Highway shortly after 6:30 a.m. The road was closed and drivers were forced to turn around.
Later in the morning on W. Orem in southwest Houston a fender bender was reported at Townwood Drive. It appeared a driver hit an ice patch, causing two SUVs to collide.
Other minor wrecks occurred along the North Freeway frontage road near Crosstimbers. Officials closed the freeway’s north and southbound frontage roads as well as ramps in the area.
“There’s a lot of ice over there, you slip and you do down to the bushes there,” said Martin Vargas, accident victim.
On Richmond at McCue, the street turned glassy near a broken pipe. Many people were taken by surprise.
“I was careful with it, that’s why I didn’t fall, but it was very slippery,” said Todd Maljean, who almost slipped on the ice.
TxDot workers were scrambling all morning to lay down sand. Despite the slippery road conditions, no serious accidents were reported.