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Law enforcement and highway officials say public safety drove th - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Law enforcement and highway officials say public safety drove their decision during ice storms

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BEAUMONT -

Even though temperatures were still cold Wednesday evening, Southeast Texans had already started thawing.  Some even left their homes for the first time this week to enjoy the sunshine that had come out.

Southeast Texans made it through two winter blasts in one week relatively unscathed, but law enforcement and highway officials say they will review their response to make sure they always do better the next time.

Beaumont Police Sergeant Rob Flores said, "I think we got it right, because we had to measure that inconvenience versus public safety."

Sarah Dupre with the Texas Department of Public Safety said safety is the reason behind all their decision, including the closing of bridges, overpasses and highways.

She said, "We had all our available resources on roadways, we ordered material, we were out there, our crews worked 24 hours a day, and we did our best, made the roads as safe as we could."

Flores also credits social media for the success in keeping so many Southeast Texans off the icy roads.

He said, "Social media was big in getting out the message, and accurate information, because in these types of crises, information is gold."

This was the first time in our area's history that social media was relied on so heavily by the public and officials during a natural disaster.

Beaumont citizen Lester Simon commended the response from first responders.  Simon said, "It was great, they let us know ahead of time what was going on, they closed the highways, told us when it was going to hit us, it just worked out real fine."

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