The Latest: Schools cancel, delay Friday. Roads slowly improve; thousands without power
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.
Many students across North Texas will spend another day at home because of this week’s winter storm.
Some districts, including Fort Worth ISD, have canceled classes again for Friday, while others are delaying start times.
Conditions on many of the main roads in North Texas improved Thursday afternoon as temperatures rose above freezing, but side streets remained slick and slushy and some refreezing is possible overnight, according to the National Weather Service.
After climbing to about 35 on Thursday, temperatures will dip below freezing again early Friday morning.
The weather service recommended that drivers stay vigilant for patches of black ice on roads, especially bridges, overpasses and side streets. Sidewalks are also likely to remain icy.
Tarrant, Dallas and 20 other North Texas counties were under an ice storm warning until 9 a.m. Thursday and thousands of North Texans are without power, but weather conditions should slowly continue to improve, officials said.
Eric Martello, a spokesperson for the National Weather Service in Fort Worth, said areas west of Dallas-Fort Worth saw sporadic rain Thursday morning with a little sleet or pockets of freezing rain mixed in. The areas east of DFW also saw some precipitation Thursday morning, but temperatures in those areas were already hovering above freezing and the rain wasn’t freezing.
A Texas Department of Transportation map of road conditions at drivetexas.org showed many highways surrounding Fort Worth were still icy Thursday.
Martello said the storm system would move out of the area by Thursday night and temperatures will be back in the 40s Friday, when the region should see more melting of the ice.
Meanwhile the ice accumulation caused thousands of power outages. Oncor was reporting about 4,800 active outages affecting around 126,000 customers across its service area as of about 5 p.m. Thursday.
At that time, there were 2,488 customers without power in Dallas County, and 5,497 in Tarrant. Oncor serves almost 4 million customers across the state.
Communities including Tyler, Sulphur Springs and Taylor were experiencing the greatest impacts from the storm, according to Oncor.
Several school districts in the Fort Worth area, including Fort Worth ISD, are closed through Friday, while others are delaying their start times. See an updated list here.
Here’s how schools decide when to close.
To report an outage to Oncor, text OUT to 66267, use the MyOncor app, or select “Report an Outage” on the website. You may also call 888-313-4747 to report your outage.
Oncor’s website also tracks outages and gives estimates of when electric service will be restored to various areas.
“Oncor has also secured the support of approximately 1,000 utility workers through mutual assistance partnerships with other Texas utilities and neighboring states,” a statement on the website reads. “Crews must travel across extremely hazardous and icy road conditions, which may impact response times.
“Additional bands of winter precipitation are expected through Thursday, so new outage events are possible,” Oncor said. “Resources and personnel are closely monitoring weather conditions and will continue to respond as outages occur.”
Oncor officials warn to stay away from downed power lines and call 911 immediately if you do see a downed line.
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: stormcenter.oncor.com
Fort Worth police continued to respond Thursday to calls of stranded drivers on icy roads and highways throughout the city.
Dozens of drivers have been injured in crashes this week.
As of 6 a.m. Thursday, 72 hours into the winter storm, MedStar ambulance service had responded to a total of 172 motor vehicle accidents, including 21 rollover crashes, and transported 53 patients from crashes to hospitals.
Two Fort Worth police officers were injured while responding to an accident on Interstate 20 early Thursday. An 18-wheeler jackknifed and hit a patrol car one of the officers was in. The officer got out shortly before two more 18-wheelers hit the vehicle.
The second officer injured his ankle on the ice. Both officers were taken to a local hospital for treatment.
Many of the wrecks occurred early in the storm when more drivers were on the roads.
Of 22 hypothermia patients, 19 were taken to hospitals, with 10 in serious condition, MedStar said. An additional 29 people were injured in falls when they slipped on ice.
Flight cancellations at DFW, Love Field airports
Airline flight delays and cancellations were easing down Thursday in Dallas-Fort Worth.
About 28% of flights to and from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport were canceled as of Thursday morning.
Only 8% of flights had been canceled at Dallas Love Field.
American Airlines was experiencing the most cancellations with about 400 across its network, or 13% of flights. After a rough week for Southwest Airlines, its cancellations dipped to only 65 on Thursday morning.
Trinity Metro plans to resume operations for bus service
Trinity Metro announced it would begin operations for bus and ZipZone at 10 a.m. Thursday but said service might change if poor road conditions continue. TEXRail, Trinity Railway Express and ACCESS paratransit will operate on their regular schedules.
Call 817-215-8600 with questions about specific routes. Sign up online to receive rider alerts.
Current temperatures and weather data from NOAA weather stations updated hourly. Tap on the map for current weather conditions, including humidity, wind speed. and direction. Data provided by NOAA and Esri.
Weather watches and warnings
A live data feed from the National Weather Service containing official weather warnings, watches, and advisory statements. Tap warning areas for more details. Sources: NOAA, National Weather Service, NOAA GeoPlatform and Esri.