High-speed wind gusts cripple traffic across the Panhandle - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

High-speed wind gusts cripple traffic across the Panhandle

People of the Panhandle are not unfamiliar with high winds. But Wednesday's 50 to 60 mile per hour gusts were not just frustrating, they were dangerous.

Long time truck driver Brian Coursey made the dangerous drive from Amarillo to Lubbock Wednesday, fighting the wind and dirt the whole way.

"It's kind of like a boat in the water, yeah you can feel it," said Coursey. "Conditions aren't good, the truck blows around a lot."

The Texas Department of Transportation urged all drivers to avoid driving on I-27 between Amarillo and Lubbock due to near zero visibility conditions.

"That harvested land where the dirt is sitting there after the harvest, is going to blow," said TxDOT Spokesperson Paul Braun. "We really need to watch out for that and that's probably out biggest concern is the visibility issue."

But concerns didn't end at visibility, truck drivers like Coursey actually have to worry about blowing over.

"There's also a danger with high profile vehicles in this kind of weather where they could be affected by the wind especially if they're traveling on I-40 east or westbound with that south wind coming in that could be very dangerous," said Braun.

"If cars would just stay in front or behind and not ride right beside us," advised Coursey. "That's probably the worse thing because it gets to blowing around and you've got to watch them.

Experienced truck drivers said it's even more dangerous driving in high winds when they're carrying a light load or nothing at all.

"They need to know what's in their vehicle, how their vehicle is being affected by the wind," added Braun.

All factors Coursey had taken into consideration and was ready to respond if necessary.

"We're just going to go down the road a little ways and if it gets real bad we'll pull over and go to bed for a little while until it clears up," said Coursey.

The high winds were expected to die down late into the night, and driving conditions should be back to normal sometime after midnight.

  • Today's Local News HeadlinesToday's Local NewsMore>>

  • Officials: vacant properties lead to fire hazards

    Officials: vacant properties lead to fire hazards

    Tuesday, November 21 2017 9:57 PM EST2017-11-22 02:57:13 GMT
    Source KFDASource KFDA

    Vacant properties aren't just eye sores to the community. These abandoned homes increase the chance of crime, promote illegal activity, and are serious fire hazards. "Often we find that even though it might be boarded up someone has found a way to enter the structure. And as it gets cold, obviously those people may try to start a fire or something inside to stay warm. And as a result of course we get a structure fire," said Community Development Administrator James Allen. ...

    Vacant properties aren't just eye sores to the community. These abandoned homes increase the chance of crime, promote illegal activity, and are serious fire hazards. "Often we find that even though it might be boarded up someone has found a way to enter the structure. And as it gets cold, obviously those people may try to start a fire or something inside to stay warm. And as a result of course we get a structure fire," said Community Development Administrator James Allen. ...

  • Law enforcement taking I-40 Challenge this holiday season

    Law enforcement taking I-40 Challenge this holiday season

    Tuesday, November 21 2017 6:28 PM EST2017-11-21 23:28:19 GMT
    Source: KFDASource: KFDA

    With the Thanksgiving holiday approaching, local law enforcement are teaming up to ensure the  safety of travelers.  

    With the Thanksgiving holiday approaching, local law enforcement are teaming up to ensure the  safety of travelers.  

  • 30 cotton modules involved in fire near Sunray

    30 cotton modules involved in fire near Sunray

    Tuesday, November 21 2017 5:39 PM EST2017-11-21 22:39:38 GMT
    Source: Sunray Volunteer Fire DepartmentSource: Sunray Volunteer Fire Department

    30 cotton modules were involved in a fire that happened near Sunray today. 

    30 cotton modules were involved in a fire that happened near Sunray today. 

Powered by Frankly