Fort Worth

North Texas drivers face perilous commute, road closures on slick and icy roads

Freezing rain hits Fort Worth causing traffic problems

Police close several flyovers at the intersection of Loop 820 and I-35W because of freezing rain and accidents in Fort Worth, TX, Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019.
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Police close several flyovers at the intersection of Loop 820 and I-35W because of freezing rain and accidents in Fort Worth, TX, Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019.

The operative weather words for North Texas on Wednesday are freezing rain and ice.

A winter weather advisory for Tarrant and Johnson counties Wednesday morning was lifted at noon. Forecasters had issued the advisory because freezing rain fell and the light accumulations caused a light glaze on bridges and overpasses.

Light freezing rain was still in the forecast for Wednesday afternoon.

Police worked several accidents Wednesday morning in west and north Fort Worth on icy highways where vehicles slammed into guardrails.

Just before 9 a.m. police reported road closures in north and northwest Fort Worth but conditions improved around lunchtime.

“Currently, there are no reports of ice but there is rain so drive to the conditions,” said Michael Peters, a Texas Department of Transportation spokesman.

There were 51 minor and major accidents from 5 a.m. until noon Wednesday on Fort Worth streets and highways, according to police reports. That’s compared to 21 for the same period on New Year’s Day. Of the 51 accidents on Wednesday, 12 involved injuries, according to a MedStar official.

The winter weather advisory was still in effect in counties west and north of Fort Worth until Friday morning.

Light rain was falling in downtown Fort Worth Wednesday, but street and road conditions were normal. The temperature at 7 a.m. was 32 degrees at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, according to the National Weather Service office in Fort Worth. By 1 p.m., it had risen just one degree to 33. But farther west, Meacham Airport in Fort Worth reported 32 degrees.



Most of the roads and highways are reported wet and in good condition in Tarrant County, but at least 70 drivers and vehicles with the Texas Department of Transportation are out monitoring bridges and overpasses.

More than 20,000 miles in nine North Texas counties have been pretreated for the icy weather, officials said.

“The crews were out Monday and Tuesday getting ready,” Bethany Kurtz, a spokeswoman with the TxDOT office in Fort Worth, said in a telephone interview.

Earlier Wednesday, Fort Worth police had tweeted that flyovers at Loop 820 and Interstate 35W were closed due to ice but those reopened around 12:30 p.m. In Denton, police tweeted there were multiple wrecks along I-35 and Loop 288 earlier Wednesday but said the Loop 288 bridge had reopened by 10 a.m.

About 120 miles west of Fort Worth, TxDot’s Abilene office was discouraging travel on Interstate 20 from Putnam all the way to Big Spring due to black ice on roadways. There were also issues on Texas 36 south of Abilene.

At DFW Airport, there’s about a 30-minute delay with flights, according to flightaware.com.

American Airlines said no flights had been canceled at DFW Wednesday morning because of weather here.

“We are de-icing aircraft as inbound aircraft are picking up some ice this morning upon landing at DFW,” spokesman Ross Feinstein said in an email. He advised American Airlines customers to check the status of their flights on aa.com.

But by Wednesday afternoon, very few aircraft were requesting de-icing, Feinstein said.

North Texans won’t likely get a break on Thursday because there’s a chance of rain or snow in the forecast. Temperatures will be hovering at 32 degrees.

Motorists will get a reprieve from the ice on Friday as forecasters are calling for a few clouds, but the temperature will be in the middle 50s.

Overland Park traffic camera videos show the dangers of slick, icy streets. The clips from the city's network of traffic cameras show what can happen when drivers are not careful in winter weather.

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