How to plan?
Last week's ice storm certainly dealt a blow to North Texas - including Palo Pinto County.
It highlighted the need for more resources for such an event. It rarely happens and, therefore, it is difficult to have the resources available to undertake such a massive project - clearing Texas highways. Imagine how much harder it would have been had the entire state been hit at the same time.
The state cannot be reasonably expected to have all the equipment all the time to handle all the problems this last storm wrought. Could there have been better planning? Possibly. But how?
While weather forecasters had predicted the storm, it came faster than, perhaps, they expected, dumping much more ice than was anticipated. And days or weeks, or even months, might not be enough time to prepare for what hit.
Here at home, assets were focused on Interstate 20, with less on Highways 281 and 180, the three primary highways in the county. Side roads and lesser traveled highways didn't get the attention.
There were not enough assets.
While it is easy to point fingers at the Texas Department of Transportation, the problem goes much deeper.
The Legislature handles the purse strings and everyone wants their share of the money - education, transportation, parks and wildlife, law enforcement, counties - the list goes on and on.
And it's not so easy to pick on the Legislature. It comes back to the taxpayers. How much are they willing to pay?
Most people don't object to paying their fair share.
It can be painful but it is necessary.
The decision comes back to the people who pay the bills - what's it worth and how high is the priority? After all, the next big ice and snow event may not occur for another two years or more or it could be next week.
We don't have the answer and we're not sure anyone does.
Maybe we should just wait for global warming to finally kick in.