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The cost of winter weather in the Big Country

After a day of many businesses having to close down due to dangerous driving conditions, most businesses in the Big Country are now back open.

However, KTXS found out food businesses in the Big Country were not the only ones that took a financial hit from the severe winter weather.

Cold temperatures and icy roads stopped some businesses in the Big Country from staying open on Wednesday, but not Bosses Pizza.

Bosses Pizza Manager Christin Riffle said there was no turning back, even though staying open meant less revenue.

"I think it hurt all businesses all around," Riffle said.

Riffle saw a decrease in customers on Wednesday and hopes it will pick back up on Thursday.

The wicked winter weather did not only cost restaurants in the Big Country a pretty penny, but it also cost the Texas Department of Transportation a great deal of money because their employees are working around the clock.

Exactly 173 TxDOT employees have been working 12-hour shifts, treating the roads in all of the 13 counties in the Abilene District.

"If you just wanted to do it in terms of I-20, we start [treating the roads] around the Big Spring area and then we go all the way to the Putnam area. It’s about 170 miles of I-20 [that’s treated]," TxDOT Abilene District Public Information Officer Cheryl Sawyers said.

Thirteen employees in each of the 13 counties in the Abilene District have been treating the roads since Monday.

"They have not stopped treating the roads, plowing, blading off the ice and retreating the roads. They haven't stopped doing that," Sawyers said.

Sawyers said TxDOT was prepared for this type of weather and allowed enough money in the budget to pay for all of their employees working extra hours.

For Riffle at Bosses Pizza, their doors will be open no matter how much revenue they lost during the bad weather.

"I mean it happens. That’s Texas for you," Riffle said.

TxDOT will continue to treat all 13 counties in the Abilene District until the wintry weather mix of ice, sleet and snow is over.

To find out what road conditions look like across the State of Texas, visit drivetexas.org.

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