HARDIN COUNTY, Texas — Southeast Texas leaders are monitoring the winter weather carefully and improving their plans as new models come out.
Hardin County Judge Wayne McDaniel said it's better to have a plan now than to find yourself unprepared.
“We're looking at a small chance for freezing rain and sleet Thursday night into early Friday morning,” McDaniel said.
Southeast Texas is in the path of a strong arctic cold front. McDaniel is acting now to make sure Hardin County is ready.
He's had daily meetings with the state and Lake Charles National Weather Service. His main concern is keeping the roads safe.
“The commissioners are getting their road and bridge departments prepared in case they need to sand any bridges or anything like that,” McDaniel said.
Since the last freeze in February 2021, Entergy has also been preparing following some rolling outages.
The vice president of power generation Jason Willis said "we've been hard at work implementing new upgrades," including insulation and windbreaks to pipes and pumps.
In the Lake’s region, Jasper Newton Electrical Cooperative is also making improvements to help get the power back on quickly during a winter storm.
“We of course look at our inventory make sure we have plenty of inventory in place in case we have to restore power,” said Joey Davis, assistant general manager at JNEC. “We have crews on standby to respond out in the field and we also have personnel out here to answer calls from membership.”
JNEC covers more than 3,000 miles of land and if there's ice on the roads, it may take longer to restore power.
“We could go several miles of power lines that's not serving any homes until you get to a group of homes, so it can be challenging if you have trees on the lines or something like that to get to,” Davis said.
That's why officials said to have your own plan if the power goes out. You can use weather stripping to cover cracks in the attic, doors, and windows to avoid busted pipes.
Cover your pipes using insulation and let them drip.
If you're using an alternate heating source like a space heater or fireplace, remember to follow instructions and always have a fire extinguisher nearby.
McDaniel said as the forecast becomes more certain they will post their plans on the Hardin County Emergency Management Facebook page.