The recent Texas snow storms and tornadoes were devastating and sometimes tragic! We can’t stop the storms, but sometimes we can avoid the tragic consequences of them. TXDot (Texas Department of Transportation) offers several programs to help Texas travelers during storms and other roadside emergencies. These programs include the Stranded Motorist Hotline, roadside Safety Rest Areas, storm shelters, and Texas Travel Information Centers.
If you are stranded due to vehicular problems, call the Hotline at (800) 525-5555. Texas residents will find this number written on the back of their Texas driver’s licenses. All Texas travelers may also call (800) 452-9292 twenty-four hours a day for travel information, trip planning assistance, and road condition information. The line is manned from 8am-5pm daily. It is automated after hours and is updated regularity.
TXDot’s 80 Safety Rest Areas offer a variety of amenities. All have ADA compliant men’s and women’s restrooms, drinking water, and picnic tables. Some have air-conditioned lobbies, vending machines, family/assisted restrooms, diaper changing stations, playgrounds, interpretive displays, free Wi-Fi, and separate truck and passenger car parking lots. Several of these rest areas have storm shelters. These storm shelters are are mostly in the Texas Panhandle, and are available to protect motorists during terrible weather conditions, including tornadoes, ice and snow, and sandstorms.
U.S. 287 Hardeman County Storm Shelter bk1bennett CC BY-ND
Bell County: IH-35 northbound and southbound lanes at milepost 281, 2 miles south of Salado, TX.
Hill County: IH-35 northbound and southbound at milepost 362A & 362B, midway between Dallas/Fort Worth and Waco.
Navarro County: IH-45 northbound and southbound at milepost 216, south of Corsicana, TX.
Donley County: IH-40 westbound at milepost 129, 1 hour east of Amarillo, TX.
Gray County: IH-40 eastbound at milepost 129, 1 hour east of Amarillo, TX.
Donley County: U.S. 287 northbound & southbound, 4 miles east of Hedley, TX.
Donley County: IH-40 eastbound at milepost 131, just west of Alanreed, TX.
Gray County: IH-40 westbound at milepost 131, just west of Alanreed, TX.
Eastland County: IH-20 eastbound and westbound, just east of Ranger, TX.
Hale County: IH-27 northbound and southbound at milepost 29, about 8 miles south of Hale Center, TX.
Hardeman County: U.S. 287 northbound and southbound, east of Quanah, TX.
Ward County: IH-20 eastbound and westbound at milepost 69, 13 miles west of Monahans, TX (sandstorms).
Harlingen Texas Travel Information Center Patio Rahel Eden CC BY-SA
The beautiful Texas Travel Information Centers are staffed with professional travel counselors who welcome travelers to Texas, provide information on travel routes, interesting Texas sites, events and road conditions, and offer travel literature, including maps, pamphlets, booklets, and brochures. Information Center amenities include free Wi-Fi, a video theater, information displays, 24 hour restrooms and security surveillance, vending machines, picnic tables, group facilities, and separate passenger vehicle and truck parking. The centers are located in Amarillo, Anthony, Austin, Denison, Gainesville, Harlingen (Rio Grande Valley), Langtry, Laredo, Orange, Waskom, and Wichita Falls, Texas.
Harlingen Texas Travel Information Center Interior Rahel Eden CC BY-SA