2.02.2011

North Texas ice lingers, impacting travel, closing schools

Rain, sleet and snow pushing ahead of the coldest weather in more than 20 years left broad swaths of North Texas virtually impassable Tuesday. Early morning low temperatures Wednesday will be in the single digits across much of the Dallas area, and the afternoon will warm only to the low 20s, forecasters said, meaning the snow and ice that paralyzed the region Tuesday will linger, especially along neighborhood streets. mesquite isd

Most Dallas area school districts — including Dallas, Plano , Arlington, Garland , Allen and Frisco — canceled classes for a second day Wednesday because of the precarious road conditions.

For visitors arriving from the frozen north for Super Bowl XLV, it was a vivid reminder of home — and not at all what they expected in Texas

“C’mon, Jerry.”

The blanket of ice Tuesday closed schools and government offices, forced a temporary closing of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and canceled virtually all of the flights at Love Field.

Highway crews spent most of Tuesday afternoon trying to push the slush and ice off roadways. Even with temperatures as low as they were, a brightening sky melted some of the ice on roadways Tuesday afternoon, said Jesse Moore, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Fort Worth. Early morning temperatures Wednesday will be around 8 degrees at Dallas-Fort Worth International, Moore said, and they’ll barely nudge into the 20s in the afternoon.

The morning lows — 8 Wednesday and 8 again on Thursday — will be the coldest since December 1989. Forecasters don’t expect temperatures to reach the freezing mark until Friday afternoon, and just barely.

Fortunately, the storm came on a day when there were few Super Bowl-related activities planned in Dallas. “We really pick up steam starting Wednesday and all the way through game time,” said Dallas police First Assistant Chief Charlie Cato. mesquite isd

While Tuesday’s snow and ice largely paralyzed North Texas, some Super Bowl visitors barely took notice.

When Jennifer Swanson woke up Tuesday, she found a note at her Market Center hotel in Dallas telling her that the weather could cause intermittent housekeeping services.

” said Swanson, marketing and communications director for TicketMaster, down from Chicago for the Super Bowl.

D/FW International Airport closed its runways for the first time since 9/11 because of early-morning ice before reopening at 8:15 a.m. Tuesday. Dallas Love Field managed to keep one runway open but the icy conditions forced Southwest Airlines to cancel its entire Tuesday schedule, about 125 departures. Southwest said it could cancel some of its Wednesday schedule depending on runway and taxiway conditions.

More than 200 people were stranded by the weather in the Greyhound bus station in downtown Dallas on Tuesday, with little hope of getting back on the road before Thursday.

“They said no buses in or out [Tuesday] and the same tomorrow,” said Lynne Brennan, who left New York City for Phoenix but was re-routed to Dallas and arrived early Tuesday morning.

Officials hosting the region’s first Super Bowl were dismayed by the weather but thankful for the timing.

Crawford wished he had the power to carry last week’s weather right through to the big game.

“Seventy-five degree weather is always better than 15-degree weather,” Crawford said. Staff writers Jon Nielsen, Eric Torbenson, Tom Benning, David Flick, Richard Abshire, Scott Goldstein, Tawnell Hobbs, Selwyn Crawford, Eric Aasen, Valerie Wigglesworth, Sam Hodges, Jessica Meyers, Brandon Formby and Matt Peterson contributed to this report. mesquite isd

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