Winter weather storm warning extended to Thursday morning


The cold weather and icy conditions coating North Texas are likely to continue through Thursday morning as the National Weather Service extends its winter weather storm warning.

The warning, originally set to last Monday through Wednesday, is now set to expire at 6 a.m. Thursday.

The storm — which brought freezing rain, sleet, and iced over roadways, to the region Monday — caused schools and businesses to close through at least Tuesday, canceled flights out of DFW International and Love Field airports, and sent cars sliding on the highways.

“Widespread icing on bridges and overpasses as well as surface streets is expected with travel significantly impacted,” the weather service said. “There is a low chance of some downed powerlines and tree damage due to ice.”

A live radar can be viewed below, along with the latest updates from reporters at The Dallas Morning News:

11:21 a.m.: I-35 in Denton reopens after wreck

A stretch of northbound I-35W at Crawford Road in Denton is reopen after a jackknifed 18-wheeler forced it to close Tuesday morning, Denton police said on Twitter.

11:02 a.m.: City garbage collection canceled

The City of Dallas’ garbage and recycling collection was canceled Tuesday due to road conditions, officials said. It was unclear if the pickups would resume Wednesday.

10:38 a.m.: Storm moves over Dallas

The storm shifted over Dallas, bringing with it light to moderate sleet and freezing rain in some areas, according to the weather service. Sleet accumulation could increase to a half-inch or inch.

10:28 a.m.: Wreck shuts down I-35 in Denton

A stretch of northbound I-35W in Denton is closed due to a jackknifed 18-wheeler blocking all lanes, Denton police said on Twitter. Traffic is being diverted at the Crawford exit to Highway 377.

Lanes will be closed until at least 11:30 a.m. Drivers should seek alternate routes, police say.

9:50 a.m.: Flights canceled

DFW International Airport said on Twitter that it is monitoring the forecast and treating runways, roads, bridges and pedestrian walkways for ice.

Passengers should check their flight status with the airline before heading to the airport, allow extra time to get there and approach entrance plazas with caution, the airport said.

By mid-morning Tuesday, more than one-third of flights in and out of DFW and Dallas Love Airport had been canceled, according to FlightAware, a flight tracking site.

Live radar

9:40 a.m.: As several city buildings close, libraries set to open

The hazardous road conditions caused several city buildings to close Tuesday, including Dallas Municipal Court and all recreation centers.

As of 8:15 a.m., city libraries — which double as warming centers during inclement weather — are set to open at noon, but city officials say people should call locations ahead of time to verify they’re open before heading over.

Additionally, a scheduled city council committee meeting scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday was postponed until Feb. 7.

8:49 a.m.: Business as usual in some places

The Kroger on E. Mockingbird Lane was open for business despite the icy roads surrounding it Tuesday morning. The parking lot was a mix of slush and newly fallen freezing rain.

About a dozen customers walked through the aisles, grabbing last-minute foods and necessities as an intercom announcement echoed: “Attention employees: Please report to Starbucks for a free coffee.”

The nearby 7/11 at the corner of Greenville Avenue was also open for customers needing to fill up on coffee or gas.

7:45 a.m.: ‘Thunder sleet’ begins to move through D-FW

Just after 7:30 a.m., the National Weather Service said a “moderate band” of sleet was beginning to move through the metroplex, in addition to areas both west and east.

The weather service said to expect a few isolated thunderstorms with bursts of both sleet and freezing rain to continue throughout the morning, adding sleet accumulations will “average a quarter of an inch, with isolated totals up to one inch.”

“This will lead to ice packed roads and treacherous driving conditions,” the weather service said.

In the Hollywood-Santa Monica neighborhood of East Dallas, on the edge of Lakewood, the “thunder sleet” began falling at 7:50 a.m. so furiously that in three minutes, the roads and rooftops went from looking completely clear to covered in white.

As Dallas Morning News columnist Sharon Grigsby described the scene: “It sounds like glass breaking on the roof.”

6 a.m: Icy roads

North Texans have been urged to stay home throughout the storm if possible, but Dallas city officials said for those still needing to make a commute, TxDOT work crews are on 24-hour shifts to treat roads and highways.

Madison Schein, a TxDOT Dallas spokeswoman, said people who have to drive should plan routes ahead of time and to look for information on

“We started pretreating roads with brine a few days ago and we’re continuing with brine,” Schein said. “Now we’re doing salt and sand mix as needed and we’ll continue to adjust our operations as the storm moves through our area.”

The city said it will also be using a salt and sand mixture to treat roads close to emergency facilities and icy bridges.

Hundreds of drivers were in a multi-hour gridlock Tuesday morning on Interstate 20 in Palo Pinto and Parker counties. The traffic resulted in at least a 20-mile backup, KDFW-TV reported.

In the Fort Worth area, there were more than 140 reported motor vehicle collisions with reported injuries as of 5 a.m. Tuesday, including 16 were rollover crashes, according to Matt Zavadsky, a spokesman for MedStar.

There were also eight hypothermia-related calls, Zavadsky said. Seven people required hospitalization and five of those were in serious condition.

In addition, nine people were injured in falls from slipping on ice, Zavadsky said.

“Out of an abundance of caution,” Zavadsky said MedStar suspended the use of lights and siren responses as of 11:30 p.m. Monday to prevent crashes as motorists attempt to move out of the way for ambulances.

“An ambulance that does not arrive on the scene of an emergency is not able to help patients,” he said. “It’s better, and safer, to respond a little slower, assure we arrive, and don’t cause any injuries on the way to the call.”

Grid expected to meet demand

The Public Utility Commission of Texas and Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, the state’s main grid operator, have said they expect the grid to be able to handle “forecasted demand” brought on by this week’s storm.

In a written statement Monday afternoon, Peter Lake, the chairman of the utility commission, echoed ERCOT’s message and said people should continue reporting local outages.

“Our biggest concern is power line safety, especially in areas that experience icing,” Lake wrote. “Ice can weigh down lines and topple tree limbs causing local power outages.”

Weather warms up later in the week

The forecast calls for more sleet and freezing rain Tuesday with temperatures hovering in the high 20s all day. Up to a half inch of ice could accumulate.

Travel has the potential to become “life-threatening,” according to the weather service. Road conditions could improve by the afternoon, but water on the roads could freeze once again overnight, worsening conditions for Wednesday morning.

These conditions continue Wednesday before warming up to the 40s with rain on Thursday. The weekend should be sunny with temperatures in the 50s and 60s.


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