Thursday, February 22, 2024 Feb 22, 2024
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Highway Conditions Improving, but Local Streets May Take Longer to Clear of Ice

Exercise caution if you need to be out and about, but the good news is by Friday things will be much better.
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TxDOT

Last Updated, 2/2, 5:30 p.m.

Temperatures reached the mid-30s Thursday as precipitation finally moves out of the area, but we’ll have to wait for Friday’s sunshine and much warmer temperatures to fully clear the roads. Meteorologists expect many streets to re-freeze after the sun goes down.

Meteorologist Hunter Reeves with the National Weather Service’s Fort Worth office said the good news is that well-traveled main roads and highways were fairly passable for much of Thursday—it’s the side streets that will remain question marks.

“We have well-traveled roads and highways that are doing pretty well and spots like overpasses that are a bit slushy,” he said Thursday morning. “Less traveled roads like side streets will take a bit longer. They will see more improvement Friday when temperatures are in the 40s.”

Reeves said that while the wintry precipitation is moving out of North Texas, any roads that still have slush or puddles will refreeze Thursday night, meaning Friday morning commutes should proceed with caution, too.

And for what it’s worth, the NWS Fort Worth team is ready for all this weather to be over, too.

“We’re very happy this is moving out,” Reeves said, chuckling. “It’s been a long week.”

Mayor Eric Johnson said the city’s focus was on specific roads, bridges, and overpasses, “especially those used by public safety personnel.” Even with the narrowed focus, he said the city has 800 sanding routes that total 4,350 miles. The city’s 45 trucks and four snow plows have been clearing the streets with nearly 3,000 tons of sand and salt. Crews are working in 12-hour shifts.

“Refreezing and new rounds of precipitation create challenges any time there is an ice storm like this,” he said, asking residents to “be patient” while the city deals with the residual slick spots.

If your street is still glazed over, you may have to wait for the sun and the warmer temperatures to work their magic.

“We’re not touching the residential roads because we don’t have that [much] equipment and manpower to address all the roads in the city,” Dallas Public Works Director Ali Hatefi told WFAA.

How clear the roads impacted how school districts will approach Friday after being shuttered for two days. Dallas ISD announced late Thursday afternoon that classes would begin two hours later on Friday. To see a full list of late school openings and closures for Friday, click here.

Air travel may also be improving. After thousands of cancellations since Monday, Dallas-Fort Worth International airport is reporting fewer than 30 percent of its flights have been canceled, and Dallas Love Field’s cancellations have dropped to less than 10 percent, according to  FlightAware.

DART rail service experienced major delays Thursday morning, but by about 11:30 issued an alert that rail service had been restored and was working on a modified 30-minute schedule. The Red, Orange, and Green line trains were operating as normal, but Blue line trains are operating from UNT Dallas to the LBJ/Skillman station. Riders can take a shuttle bus to reach downtown Rowlett from the LBJ/Skillman station. 

It also looks like tonight’s Dallas Mavericks game will happen as scheduled; the New Orleans Pelicans were able to board a flight from Denver Thursday morning.

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Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson

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Bethany Erickson is the senior digital editor for D Magazine. She's written about real estate, education policy, the stock market, and crime throughout her career, and sometimes all at the same time. She hates lima beans and 5 a.m. and takes SAT practice tests for fun.

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