By CLINT FOSTER
The ice is still melting from the weekend winter storm that many on social media referred to as the “Icepocalypse.”
Sleet and freezing temperatures blasted North Texas on Thursday night, causing thick ice to cover the roadways, keeping residents stuck in their homes, canceling plans and forcing many businesses to stay closed and under-stocked.
After a high of 73 degrees on Wednesday, Dec. 4, the temperature plummeted to a new record low of 23 degrees the following day. Then came the storm that turned the town of Crazy Water into a town of crazy ice.
Over the night between Thursday and Friday, Mineral Wells saw .77 inches of sleet and 16 mph winds that covered the city in a blanket of white.
The temperature reached its lowest on Saturday with an average of a frigid 20 degrees. For the second time in three days, Mineral Wells experienced a new record low, with Saturday’s minimum temperature at a mere 16 degrees.
For some perspective – according to the National Weather Service – the average temperature in Mineral Wells between Dec. 5 and 9 is around 47 degrees with average highs in the neighborhood of 58 degrees.
The only time Mineral Wells experienced colder climates during that five-day stretch was in 2005, when record-breaking lows fell as far as 10 degrees.
The winter of 2005 still holds minimum temperature records during this time that were not broken by this year’s storm for Dec. 6, 8 and 9.
All over North Texas, crews worked tirelessly, spreading sand and clearing ice to make the roads drivable.
City Manager Lance Howerton said city crews and the Texas Department of Transportation split road-clearing duties in Mineral Wells with TXDOT focusing primarily on U.S. Highways 180 and 281.
Mineral Wells Director of Public Works Kelly Jones said city crews mainly spent the weekend sanding roads around town to provide drivers with some traction on the slick ice.