The winter storm forecasted for New Year’s Eve brought in lots of snow for Howard County. Many parts of the county ranged from 12 inches of snow to almost 2 feet in some areas.
According to Howard County Sheriff Stan Parker there had been over 25 reported accidents throughout the county before 4:30 PM. Soon after, it was also reported that eastbound traffic on I-20 between Stanton and Big Spring was at a standstill due to accidents involving 18-wheelers. Plus, Interstate 20, east of Big Spring between mile markers 191 and 195 (in the Rattlesnake Gap area), was completely shut down for both directions of travel due to several wrecks and several stranded vehicles.
TXDOT, Howard County Road & Bridge, as well as Mitchell County were all on the scene doing their best to clear the accidents, but access was extremely difficult. The heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures resulted in many travelers spending the night on the roadway for up to 18 hours in traffic, most of it standstill.
According to Big Spring Fire Chief Craig Ferguson, it was a VERY difficult situation for the emergency crews. Wreckers and other heavy equipment had been called in from all over West Texas, and they had been trying to get equipment from Abilene, Lubbock, Midland and anywhere else that the equipment could be found.
The stoppage finally cleared up around Big Spring and traffic began to move just before 9 AM on New Year's Day.