The Latest: Dallas-Fort Worth road conditions improve as ice melts Friday afternoon

Here’s the latest on the winter storm hitting North Texas. Check back for updates throughout the day, and sign up to get breaking news alerts here.

An overnight freeze Thursday caused road conditions to deteriorate, and Friday morning commuters were warned to use extreme caution, Fort Worth police said. But the roads were improving Friday afternoon.

A TxDOT map of road conditions at showed many highways surrounding the city appear clear of ice as of 2 p.m. Friday, though traffic is backed up in some areas due to accidents. A few slick spots may remain.

According to police, 25 major accidents occurred between 10 p.m. Thursday and 2:30 a.m., including two fatalities.

Freeway overpasses and other elevated roadways were iced over early Friday morning, requiring the closure of access entrance ramps for the majority of the city’s freeways by using emergency vehicles and/or barricades, Fort Worth police said. Crews from the Fort Worth Department of Transportation and Public Works and Texas Department of Transportation were installing barricades, sanding roadways and working as quickly as safely possible to try to ensure the roadways were open and safe for travel for morning commuters, police said.

In an update about 7:45 a.m., Fort Worth police said all roads are open but that drivers were asked to limit travel unless necessary. If travel is required, drivers should use caution, remain alert for patches of ice on all roadways, maintain lower speeds, allow extra distance between themselves and the vehicles in front of them and vacate lanes when approaching emergency vehicles, tow trucks and road crews, Fort Worth police said.

Shortly after 9:15 a.m. a spokesperson for the Texas Department of Transportation in Fort Worth said there were no road-related closures, but the department was still in winter weather operational mode. The department advised motorists to use caution on bridges and other elevated surfaces due to remaining ice.

About 3 a.m., officers were on the scene of several tractor-trailers which jack-knifed and were blocking the northbound lanes of U.S. Highway 287 at South Riverside Drive and had those lanes closed while they tried to remove the vehicles.

A MedStar spokesman reported “a very rough overnight and early morning for MedStar and other first response agencies.” The ambulance services said shortly after 5 a.m. that the “roads are probably the worst we’ve seen yet due to the overnight freeze.”

MedStar responded to 50 crashes with injuries across its North Texas service area between 6 p.m. Thursday and 5 a.m. Friday. Six of those were rollover crashes, and 17 patients were transported to hospitals. For comparison, between midnight and 6 p.m. Thursday, it responded to 17 crashes with injuries.

Since the winter storm began early Monday morning, MedStar has responded to a total of 251 motor vehicle crashes with injuries, including 27 rollovers. Seventy-five patients have been taken to hospitals.

Fatal crashes

The first fatal crash was reported about 11 p..m. Thursday, when East Division officers, firefighters and MedStar were dispatched to northbound Martin Luther King Freeway at East Berry Street.

Police found that a vehicle that had stopped because it had become disabled in the northbound lanes of the freeway. A driver in a second uninvolved vehicle stopped to help the driver of the disabled car try to move it to the shoulder.

While they were pushing the disabled vehicle from the roadway, it was hit by the driver of a third vehicle approaching northbound on Martin Luther King Freeway. The driver who had stopped to help was also hit during the collision, police said. That person was transported to John Peter Smith Hospital in stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries.

The driver of the third vehicle was taken to JPS in critical condition and later died.

A fourth and fifth vehicle also were involved in the collision but their drivers were not injured.

In the second fatal crash, about 11:45 p.m. Thursday, East Division officers were dispatched to the intersection of northbound Texas 360 and westbound Texas 183. Fort Worth Fire Department and MedStar personnel also responded.

Officers found that a vehicle had stopped because it had become disabled on the northbound right shoulder of State Highway 360. A driver in a second vehicle hit the back of the disabled vehicle.

The driver of the second vehicle was taken to Baylor, Scott and White Medical Center-Grapevine in critical condition and later died. The occupant of the disabled vehicle left the scene prior to officers’ arrival, possibly to seek medical treatment, police said.

The forecast

Allison Prater, a spokesperson for the National Weather Service, said quite a bit of refreezing took place overnight Thursday, making overpasses and bridges treacherous Friday morning.

Prater said the temperatures will rise throughout the day and should be in the low 40s by Friday afternoon, giving some of the ice a chance to melt. Temperatures will drop again Friday night into the high 20s or around 30, and there is a possibility of more freezing fog overnight Friday.

Temperatures are expected to be in the upper 50s or low 60s on Saturday and Sunday, according to Prater.

Increased chances for showers and thunderstorms will return to the region late Tuesday into Thursday, according to the weather service.

School closings

In spite of improved weather, Fort Worth ISD and other districts across the area have canceled classes Friday for the fourth day in a row due to bad road conditions. Others that had delayed start times have now canceled. See a list here.

Power outages

Oncor workers are restoring power in affected areas. Oncor reported nearly 3,800 active power outages affecting around 72,000 customers across its service area at 10 a.m. on Friday.

At that time there were 1,692 customers without power in Dallas County and 881 in Tarrant County.

Electric outages Dallas - Fort Worth vicinity

Here is Oncor's power outages map. Outage information is sent from Oncor to the outage map every 10 minutes. Source:


Current Temperatures

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