Cold, icy and wet weather continues
DALLAS - The drop in temperatures has some roads icy in parts of North Texas while others areas are dealing with flooding problems.
In Wise and Parker counties, there was significant icing on trees, power lines and overpasses by Wednesday evening.
Utility crews were working to restore power for thousands of customers, with many of the outages are in Parker, Wise and Tarrant counties. TxDOT crews were also sanding the roads and keeping an eye on bridges and overpasses.
The outages in Parker County peaked at about 5 p.m. with more than 7,300 homes and businesses without power. The majority of them were in Aledo. At least three schools were briefly without electricity near the end of the day, including Aledo Middle School.
The district's communication system was damaged by the ice. Bus drivers were limited on how far their two-way radios would reach.
A few miles to the west in Weatherford, freezing rain made driving a challenge. Rain quickly turned to sleet in the area. Snow plows were used along much of I-20, scooping slush and ice off the road.
“It hit Bridgeport and before we knew it, it was hitting Weatherford as well. Pretty much most of the county is starting to feel the cold and the rain,” said Cody Powell, the Wise County emergency management coordinator.
It sleeted for about an hour during the afternoon in Weatherford, but then the precipitation turned back into rain. But the sleet and freezing rain coated trees and caused the power outages in the area.
Driving north along 287 into Decatur on Wednesday, FOX4 crews spotted several vehicles that slid off the road, including a semi that caused a major traffic backup and took crews hours to remove.
According to the Wise County Sheriff's Office, since 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, they've responded to 36 accidents and had to help five motorists who slid off the road. One person in those accidents had to be transported with a non-life threatening injury.
Despite a Winter Weather Advisory in effect for Denton County, classes went on as scheduled at UNT. Students were forced to walk in the relentless rain, catching some folks off guard. The city's drainage system worked vigorously to keep the rainwater from flooding the streets.
A few miles north in Krum, there was a single-car crash along the I-35 service road. A tow truck driver says the motorist lost control in the rain and went down the embankment before hitting a tree.
Further north in Sanger, power lines and countless tree were covered in ice. In some cases, the weight of the frozen precipitation snapped limbs and branches.
One branch almost landed on Jeff Serna’s roof.
“My girlfriend texted me and said, ‘We've got trees down in the front yard,’” Serna recalled. “And I was thinking, ‘As long as he didn't hit the house!’”
Just before nightfall, crews took advantage of a break in the rain to spread a sand mixture across the interstate.
In other areas, the slick, wet roads and some flooding have been an issue.
Rescuers spent several hours Wednesday morning searching for a car in the Trinity River in Dallas. Witnesses saw the small white car went into the water and float down the river. Dallas Fire-Rescue launched several boats but did not find anyone.
Some schools and government offices in the area closed early Wednesday because of the weather. For a complete list of closures, visit fox4news.com/closings.
FOX 4 Meteorologist Evan Andrews said the forecast calls for more cold and wet weather over the next few days. An ice storm warning and winter weather advisory were issued for the areas north and west of the Metroplex. Check out FOX 4 Weather on Facebook for updates.