December 6, 2013

Live updates: High school playoff games put on ice

The latest news from Friday’s icy weather.

7:15 p.m. Kanye West concert goes on

Apparently, the show will go on for Kanye West and any of his diehard fans who were willing to drive to American Airlines Center on Friday night in the icy weather and treacherous road conditions. DFW.com pop music critic Preston Jones was there and opening act Kendrick Lamar was slated to take the stage at 8 p.m. As of 7:15, Jones reported that the American Airlines Center was fairly empty.

In Fort Worth, Billy Bob’s Texas announced on its website that the Kevin Fowler concert scheduled for 10:30 Friday has been canceled "due to unsafe weather conditions." The honky tonk closed for the night.

5 p.m. Many sporting events rescheduled

The storm forced the cancellation and postponement of sports events across the area.

High school basketball games and Sunday’s Dallas Marathon were canceled. High school football playoff games were rescheduled and UT Arlington and SMU basketball games were postponed when their opponents couldn’t reach the area.

Organizers canceled the marathon Friday afternoon after consulting with police and city officials. The Dallas Marathon and half marathon had almost 15,000 finishers in 2012.

All high school playoff games in North Texas scheduled for Saturday have been postponed until Monday:

• Euless Trintiy vs. DeSoto, 1 p.m. at Waco ISD Stadium
• Birdville vs. Denton Guyer, 5 p.m. at Northwest ISD Stadium in Justin
• Stephenville vs. Lubbock Cooper, 7:30 p.m. at Shotwell Stadium in Abilene
• Denton Ryan vs. Cedar Hill, 3 or 4 p.m. at Apogee Stadium in Denton;
• Highland Park vs. Wylie, 7 p.m. at Eagle Stadium in Allen;
• Aledo vs. Wichita Falls, with a site and time to be determined.

“Every field within 60 miles has anywhere from 1 to 3 inches of ice, so we are not sure where we will end up Monday,” Aledo coach Tim Buchanan said in an email.

Weather forecasts predict temperatures near freezing or below until Tuesday.

“We’re all anxious to get on the field because the kids are kind of on a roller coaster thinking they’d play Friday, then Saturday and now Monday,” Birdville coach Jim Skinner said.

Aledo’s 4A Division II game against Wichita Falls was originally scheduled for Friday, moved to Thursday, back to Friday, then Saturday, and now Monday.

On Wednesday, TAPPS officials switched its three weekend state title games to Monday and Tuesday.

The Division I game, Fort Worth Nolan Catholic vs. Plano Prestonwood Christian, is scheduled at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Tiger Stadium in Corsicana.

The TAPPS Division II game between Midland Christian and Katy Pope John XXIII is at 1 p.m. Monday at Tiger Stadium, followed by the Division III game between Dallas First Baptist and Bryan Brazos Christian at 6 p.m.

UT Arlington was scheduled to play Weber State at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. It will be rescheduled at a later date. SMU was to host Hofstra at Dr Pepper Arena in Frisco. It has been rescheduled for 6 p.m. Jan. 19 at Moody Coliseum.

The 36th annual Don Zetnick Arlington Winter Run was postponed until Dec. 28. The 2013 Jingle Bell Run/Walk scheduled Saturday in downtown Fort Worth was canceled. - Sports staff

4:55 p.m. Arlington bridges “tricky,” maps help with icy commute

The city of Arlington has two sand trucks and three snow plows out working the roads, said city spokeswoman Sana Syed.

The city has posted maps online that list priority roads for specific sections of Arlington that citizens can take if they need to leave the house, she said. However, Syed cautions against leaving the house unless absolutely necessary because the “bridges are still kind of tricky,” like the one off I-30 and Fielder that is slippery with ice.

As the sun goes down the grounds are expected to refreeze, and city crews have plenty of salt stock-piled. - Monica S. Nagy

3:40 p.m. Arlington Mayor concerned about public safety, cancels another event

Earlier today Mayor Robert Cluck and city officials decided to cancer the Decorator’s Warehouse Holiday Lights Parade that was expected to draw thousands. Now Cluck says he won’t make it to a public reading event that was scheduled to take place at the Barnes & Nobles in Parks Mall.

“We are in all kinds of public safety mode right now, and I don’t want to contribute to unnecessary traffic,” Cluck said. - Monica S. Nagy

3:02 p.m. Meals donated

Weather forced the Fort Worth Republican Women to cancel their Annual Christmas luncheon Friday, but it was too late to cancel their order of about 100 lunches.

Not wanting the food to go to waste, the group decided to donate the meals, including the pistachio ice cream, to a local Salvation Army night shelter.

“We were disappointed that we had to cancel our luncheon, but very glad that we were able to use that food for a great cause on an icy day,” said Kaye Moreno, a member of the group. -Anna M. Tinsley

2:43 p.m. UPDATE: Dallas Marathon canceled

After postponing and eventually canceling the opening of the health and fitness expo on Friday, organizers of this weekend’s MetroPCS Dallas Marathon decided this afternoon to cancel the event. They posted this message on the marathon website:

“We met this morning with officials from the City of Dallas, Dallas Police Department and the Office of Special Events to assess the situation. Due to current weather conditions, and forecasted conditions for Saturday and Sunday, as of today at 12:40 p.m., the decision has been collaboratively made to cancel the 2013 MetroPCS Dallas Marathon.”

No word on whether it will be rescheduled.

2:11 p.m. Arlington Christkindl Market closed

The third annual Arlington Christkindl Market featuring German cuisine, drinks, entertainments, arts, crafts and holiday gifts is closed Friday. The market is located at the Road to Six Flags and Ballpark Way by Rangers Ballpark. It is scheduled to re-open noon Saturday.

2 p.m. Jingle bell Run/Walk canceled

Officials have decided to cancel Saturday’s 2013 Fort Worth Jingle Bell Run/Walk presented by UNT Health Bone and Joint Institute. The event, which benefits the Arthritis Foundation, will not be rescheduled.

In its place the foundations is encouraging participants and others to stay at home and wear pajamas and register for Jingle in Your Jammies by texting Jingle13 to 52182.

“The safety of the participants and residents of Fort Worth is our top priority,” said Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price in a news release.

1:03 p.m. ‘Frosty the Snowman’ at Casa canceled

Tonight’s performance of “Frosty the Snowman” at Casa Mañana has been canceled. The rest of the performances this weekend will go on as scheduled, the theater said in a news release. Call the box office at 817-332-2272 for ticket exchange information about tonight’s canceled performance. The theater will take ticket exchanges through the weekend and next week.

12:38 p.m. Choral concerts canceled, postponed

The Arlington Master Chorale concert scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday has been rescheduled for 7:30 p.m. Monday at the same location, Trinity United Methodist Church on 1200 W. Green Oaks Blvd in Arlington.

Schola Cantorum of Texas’ Sunday night concert at White's Chapel United Methodist Church in Southlake has also been canceled. The next two concerts are 7:30 p.m. Monday at Arborlawn United Methodist Church on 5001 Briarhaven Road in Fort Worth, and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Trinity United Methodist Church in Arlington. - Monica S. Nagy

12 p.m. Power outages down to about 220,000 across the DFW area

The number of homes without power has dropped slightly from earlier this morning. Most of the outages are in Dallas County, where 131,000 are without power, and Collin County, where 38,000 customers don’t have power. In Tarrant County, about 21,000 residents were without power.

11:25 a.m. Postal stations open, delivery depends on local conditions

Neither ice, nor sleet, nor snow is stopping the U.S. Postal Service today.

All Fort Worth postal stations are open for business and the Postal Service “will make every reasonable effort to deliver mail in this difficult winter weather situation,” spokesperson Robert S. Bolen said in an email.

Flight cancellations have halted most mail flying in and out of DFW Airport and some delivery trucks are also being affected by icy road conditions, Bolen said.

Decisions regarding mail delivery service will be made on a location-by-location basis depending on the severity of local conditions, he said, noting that safety for employees is the Postal Service’s primary concern. - Steve Campbell.

11:05 a.m. Walking Town Hall canceled

City officials canceled the Fort Worth Walking Town Hall scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday with Mayor Betsy Price and Councilwoman Kelly Allen Gray. The walk was to take place at Oakland Lake Park.

11 a.m. The last of the sleet is moving across Tarrant County

You may have seen the last of the sleet and freezing rain. Forecasters now think the next chance of frozen precipitation on Saturday may stay east of Tarrant County. But winter is sticking around.

“It’s going to be could through Wednesday,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Dennis Cain. “And even then, it’s only going to get into the 40s.”

10:43: Ice-skating marathon anyone?

The MetroPCS Dallas Marathon, formerly known as the Dallas White Rock Marathon, is still on for Sunday as of now, but the expo opening has been delayed until 2 p.m. today.

10:10 a.m. Truck stop jammed as ice blankets I-35

More than 50 truckers and travelers are waiting out the storm today at the Hitchin’ Post Travel Plaza just south of Gainesville on Interstate 35.

“We got three or four inches of ice and now it has started snowing,” said truck stop worker Vipan Soni.

“The truckers can’t move. Our parking lot is nearly full. We are out of de-icer and ice scrapers. Everyone is just waiting,” Soni said. - Steve Campbell

10: 05 a.m. DFW departures on hold.

DFW departures have been halted until after 1:30 p.m., according to an American Airlines news release, to allow American and DFW Airport authorities to clear runways and ramp areas. American said it is working to accommodate customers as quickly and safely as possible. American has canceled more than 1,000 flights in and out of DFW Airport.

10 a.m. Fort Worth accident totals updated.

Fort Worth police worked 213 traffic accidents between 4 p.m. Thursday and 10 a.m. Friday, according to the Fort Worth Police Department website. - Mitch Mitchell

9: 55 a.m. TXDOT continuing to treat roadways

TXDOT spokesman Val Lopez said crews will likely be treating roadways for the next several days as the ice is expected to stick around until at least Sunday when temperatures may briefly get above freezing. Conditions have improved at the Interstate 20 and Interstate 35W interchange in south Fort Worth.

But the Fort Worth mixmaster, where I-35W and I-30 meet, continues to be an issue, particularly for large 18-wheelers trying to go across the high overpasses.

9:45 a.m. Carport collapse could have been worse

A smoke break almost turned deadly for two adults after the carport they were standing below collapsed under the weight of ice Friday morning.

Fort Worth Battalion Chief Richard Harrison said a barbecue grill being stored under the carport kept the carport from falling fully on the couple.

“The barbecue grill may have saved their lives,” Harrison said.

The incident happened about 8:15 a.m. in the 4100 block of Valentine Street in Fort Worth.

Harrison said responding firefighters were able to free the man's trapped hand and used manpower to lift the fallen carport off the woman, whose leg had been pinned.

Harrison cautioned residents that ice accumulation on roads and house fires are not the only risks during such winter storms.

“We think about the slick roads and the space heaters and those are important things to think about,” Harrison said.

But, Harrison said, ice on trees and carports also pose potential hazards.

“We don't build in Texas the way they do up north,” he said. “We're not used to sustaining this kind of weight on stuff.” - Deanna Boyd

9:30 a.m. Arlington parade canceled

Arlington's Decorator’s Warehouse Parade of Lights, scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday, is canceled. Organizers may reschedule it for next weekend, said city spokeswoman Sana Syed. A decision will be made this afternoon. - Terry Evans

9:30 a.m. Power outages continue to climb

Oncor reporting more than 269,000 power outages. More than 150,000 in Dallas County and more than 53,000 in Collin County. But Tarrant County numbers have actually dropped to about 22,000. - Bill Hanna

9:20 a.m. Tarrant County closes, workers will be paid

Tarrant County sent an e-mail to employees Thursday reminding them that “the county does not close.” But County Judge Glen Whitley decided Friday morning that, well, it does.

Whitley made the decision after driving into his office early today.

“The feeling was it wasn’t going to get better, it’s only going to get colder,” Whitley said.

County spokesperson Marc Flake said a “skeleton crew” of workers are answering phones and people from facilities management are clearing sidewalks at county buildings.

The Thursday e-mail reminded county employees that if they are not able to get to work they must either use vacation time or personal leave in order to be paid. But with the county officially closed, employees will be paid, Flake said.

County commissioners will decide Tuesday how that pay is allocated, Flake said. - Steve Campbell

9 a.m. Fort Worth cancels garbage collection

Garbage, recycling, bulk and yard trimming collections for Friday have been canceled in Fort Worth. Friday collection routes will be serviced Monday.

Curbside collections will shift by one day for the week of Dec. 9. All city drop-off stations are closed Friday.

Through 7 a.m. this morning, city road crews had checked 358 locations and sanded 282 with 399 tons of sand. - Caty Hirst

8:50 a.m. MedStar staying busy

Emergency medical personnel responded to 329 incidents between 4 p.m. Thursday and 8 a.m. Friday and are averaging almost 21 calls an hour, according to Matt Zavadsky, MedStar spokesman.

Automobile crashes account for 41 of those calls, eight are related to falls, and 49 have been weather-related, according to MedStar figures. - Mitch Mitchell

8:45 a.m. School district helping Oncor

The Fort Worth school district is providing staging areas for more than 175 Oncor emergency workers from Alabama who are in North Texas to help with power restorations, according to a school district news release.

“I can't thank the Fort Worth ISD enough for their cooperation in staging for our off system crews from Alabama that will be assisting with the power restorations,” said Suzan Greene, Customer Operations Manager for Oncor Electric Delivery. “It's a partnership like this that makes this a wonderful community to work with.” - Lee Williams

8:30 a.m. Red-light runners worst hazard on commute

Conditions were better than expected on a 15-minute, three-mile commute to downtown Fort Worth from the Berkeley Place neighborhood. The biggest hazard were the five drivers who sailed through red lights.

Passed four vehicles stranded in the sleet drifts; the luckiest was the guy stuck next to the fire station on West 10th Street -- firefighters to the rescue. - Steve Campbell

8:15 a.m. Juvenile trial postponed

Testimony in a juvenile case in which a Keller teen has admitted to driving drunk and killing four people has been postponed and is expected to resume Tuesday morning.

The teen faces 20 year sentences on each of four intoxication manslaughter charges if he is found guilty of delinquent conduct, according to state District Judge Jean Boyd, who will set his sentence after hearing the evidence in the case.

The crash happened June 15 when the teen lost control of his pickup, starting a deadly chain of collisions on Burleson-Retta Road in southern Tarrant County. - Mitch Mitchell

7:47 a.m. Fort Worth mixmaster a mess

One of the biggest headaches Friday morning was proving to be the Fort Worth mixmaster, where tractor-trailers were continuously getting stuck on the high overpasses going from Interstate 30 to Interstate 35W.

TxDOT spokesman Val Lopez said large rigs, especially those with double-trailers, were constantly having problems getting traction. Every time one of the large trucks gets stuck, it effectively shut downs the overpasses. There were also problems at the interchange between Interstate 20 and Interstate 35W. - Bill Hanna

7:21 a.m. Tarrant County offices are closed

Tarrant County officials announced that all county offices are closed today because of the weather. -Anna M. Tinsley

7 a.m. Hundreds of flights canceled at DFW

American has canceled 900 flights in and out of DFW Airport. Customers are advised to check www.aa.com or dfwairport.com/flights and monitor road conditions before heading to the airport.

Every departing flight was being de-iced. - Bill Hanna

6:55 a.m. Power outages climb

Oncor is reporting 220,000 without power in the DFW area. Most are in Dallas and Collin County. About 28,000 are in Tarrant County. - Bill Hanna

6:22 a.m. Arlington man killed in early-morning crash

An Arlington man was killed early today in a two-vehicle crash on Interstate 20 near Cooper Street in Arlington, police said.

Chase Brandenburgh, 29, was eastbound in a 2001 BMW when he crashed into an 18-wheeler that had stopped partially in the outside traffic lane, police spokeswoman Tiara Ellis Richard said. He was pronounced dead at Medical Center of Arlington.

The weather appears to have been a factor, Richard said. - Kathy Vetter

6:20 a.m. Fort Worth City Hall closed

All non-essential Fort Worth city offices, such as City Hall, will be closed today. Public safety departments, such as fire, police and the water department, will continue to operate.

Up until 4 a.m., the city sanding trucks had checked 230 roads and bridges for ice and found ice in 170 locations.

City crews will continue to sand roads throughout the morning. - Caty Hirst

6:15 a.m. Homeless shelters expanding

To help keep homeless people warm and safe inside, First United Methodist Church in downtown Fort Worth has expanded its Directions Home shelter to house an additional 21 people and other churches will likely be opened later Friday and Saturday as demand warrants, officials said.

Otis Thornton, homelessness program director for the City of Fort Worth, spent the night at the shelter at the Methodist chuch. - Lee Williams

5:30 a.m. Rain, sleet or snow

My Star-Telegram newspaper, nicely wrapped in plastic, was sitting atop my sidewalk covered with sleet this morning. Not sure who my carrier is, but thanks .- Lee Williams

5 a.m. Roadways are treacherous

“This is the worst I’ve seen since at least the Super Bowl,” said Capt. Charles Ramirez of the Fort Worth Police Department. “I’ve got chains on my tires and my car is just shaking. You can only go about 15 mph. If you’re planning to go to work you need to plan on at least two hours.”

Ramirez said Fort Worth police responded to about 60 accidents overnight where someone was injured or a car was blocking the roadway. But there were countless other fender-benders where police didn’t respond.

‘We just told them to exchange insurance information,” Ramirez said. “We didn’t go out unless we had to.”

The worst conditons in Fort Worth were in the Alliance area where the Heritage Trace overpass over I-35W had to briefly shut down. - Bill Hanna

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