Freezing rain leads to icy roads Saturday morning

Pockets of freezing drizzle and sleet made the already difficult North Texas driving conditions even worse late Friday night and Saturday morning.

State and city crews have been working around the clock to clear the roads for drivers. TxDOT crews are "blading" the roads to knock loose ice buildup and applying treatment to give drivers traction on the ice and snow.

Snow began falling across North Texas Friday morning – prompting school closures and causing hundreds of accidents on the roadways. The white stuff began falling north and west of the Metroplex around 7 a.m. By 10:30 a.m., it had covered most roadways.

Up to six inches of snow fell in western parts of North Texas.


Saturday morning brought more winter weather with freezing rain, which helped ice over some roads. By Saturday afternoon, temperatures are expected to creep above 32 degrees, but there will still be some icy spots.

By Saturday night, we are expected to see some rain with roads in the northwest part of the Metroplex beginning to improve.

A winter storm warning was issued late Friday afternoon for Denton, Cooke, Grayson and Wise counties through 6 p.m. Saturday. The unusual warning from the National Weather Service was due to heavy snowfall throughout the day Friday and expected freezing rain overnight into Saturday morning.

A winter weather advisory remained in effect for rest of the area through 6 p.m. Saturday.

A record low-high temperature was set as well on Friday, as the thermometer only made it to 30 degrees for a high. The previous record low-high was 33 degrees.

Despite the pre-treatments and road crews working 12-hour shifts, several major roadways had to be shut down completely because of ice and accidents during midday Friday.

Ramps at the Fort Worth Mixmaster were impassible, and as many as 15 cars reportedly slid off southbound Highway 75 in Melissa. Roads quickly became gridlocked, and some drivers abandoned their cars and trucks.

From midnight to 6 p.m. Friday, Fort Worth police said they responded to 617 traffic-related calls.

In Dallas, police said that between midnight at 7 p.m. Friday, there were 235 minor accidents, 99 major accidents and 81 major freeway accidents.

A jackknifed 18-wheeler in Richardson slid out so hard, it damaged an HOV dividing wall southbound on Hwy. 75 at Renner Road. The crash caused quite a traffic backup, with cars barely moving for a couple of hours.

Some North Texans expressed frustration on social media over surge pricing on the TEXpress lanes of the DFW Connector Friday afternoon.

A FOX 4 viewer shared a photo of the toll sign along Hwy. 114, northwest of D/FW Airport.

The pricing showed $3.45 per car with a tolltag. The non-tolltag price was $6.56 per car.

It's usually 67 cents per car.

Other North Texas toll roads waived fees during the worst of the day.

FOX 4 is told some drivers saw the price increase and tried to change lanes at the last minute to avoid it.

We are working to get an answer from TxDOT about the change in pricing.

The day wasn't all bad news -- a large crowd gathered at Flag Pole Hill in Dallas on Friday afternoon to enjoy some of the best sledding in the area.

CLOSINGS


Several businesses and colleges reported Saturday morning closings. For a complete list of closings, visit bit.ly/fox4closings.


AIRPORTS & TRANSIT

Runways are still open, but more than 300 departures at D/FW Airport were canceled as of Saturday morning, despite runways being treated overnight.


Pavement treatment trucks and snowplows have been deployed to help keep things running.

The airport is under a winter weather advisory until 2 p.m. Saturday.

Travelers are encouraged to check their flight status at www.dfwairport.com/flights.

Dallas Love Field reported some cancellations and departure delays Saturday morning.

DART and the T in Fort Worth both say they are currently operating on normal schedules, but delays should be expected.





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