NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – While the metroplex skirted getting layers of sleet and ice other parts of North Texas weren’t so lucky.
In Corsicana freezing temperatures coupled with snow, ice and bitter winds caused a mess on the roadways. A section of Interstate-45, at Highway 31, has been shutdown because of icy conditions. A mix of sleet, ice and slush on the roadways has also caused a number of accidents, with vehicles crashing into each other or simply sliding off the roadway.
John Gantts, with Navarro County Emergency Management, said, “The areas that you would expect – Interstate-45 – still lots of traffic on that, particularly a lot of 18-wheelers. In the ice we’ve had a number of them that have jackknifed or run off the road or had problems, so it’s been kind of a constant battle on I-45 to keep the highway open.”
A lot of moisture fell in Kaufman County, south of the I-20 corridor, and made roadways treacherous. Daniel Armbruster with AAA stopped by CBS 11 News and talked about some ways to avoid a skid.
In addition to keeping your speed lower and not making sudden starts and stops Armbruster said, “When you accelerate do so gradually. You want to make sure that if you are on the roadways and there is ice on the roadway that you’re not tailgating. And also make sure that your tire are in good condition and don’t use cruise control.”
Roads are dry in Dallas, with only a few flakes falling before sunrise. CBS 11 News crews out across the city didn’t see any slick spots and that could be due to the fact that the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) still has sand and brine trucks out coating roadways, especially bridges and overpasses, that could become slick.
TxDOT spokesman Val Lopez said, “In bad weather… in winter weather we usually have crews coming north. TxDOT applies the crews to where they’re needed, when they’re needed.”
The City of Dallas sent 35 sand trucks out to assess the streets, but have had no reports of trouble spots.
More than snow and ice, commuters in the metroplex will have to deal with extreme cold and single-digit wind chills.
There have been few school delays/cancellations and business closings so things are expected to pick up at DART stations across Dallas. Officials with DART say they took extra steps to make sure trains would run smoothly today. They called in extra staff, pretreated switchers — so they wouldn’t freeze – and also ran additional trains overnight, outfitted with ice chippers to clear any buildup on overhead power lines.
Things are worse farther south. With runways and roadways dangerously icy, hundreds of flights at George Bush Intercontinental in Houston and Austin’s Bergstrom International Airport were canceled and several major highways have been shutdown.