Winter weather leads to 30-hour traffic snarl around Dallas-Fort Worth

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line staff writer | Monday, December 09, 2013

Motorists of all sorts were stranded for hours and hours across the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area due to icy roadways.

OOIDA member Bill Scannell said he was at a standstill for about 20 hours from Saturday afternoon until Sunday on U.S. Route 287 about 20 miles outside of Fort Worth.

Scannell, a company driver for Parkway Transport out of San Antonio, had picked up a load of medical supplies in Austin for delivery in Denver. He said it usually takes him about seven hours to get from Austin to Amarillo, where he finally stopped Sunday night for a proper rest.

“They didn’t do nothing to the bridges in Fort Worth,” he said in a phone interview with Land Line on Monday. “It was like driving across broken cobblestone. The ice was all clumped up.”

Scannell said traffic was shut down just on the edge of Tarrant County after several trucks rolled over or were jackknifed trying to climb hills.

At 5 p.m. on Sunday, the Texas Department of Transportation issued a press release stating that all major highways had been reopened in the areas of the state hardest hit by a winter storm, but continued to urge drivers to use extreme caution on Monday morning after temperatures fell below freezing again.
 
By early afternoon on Sunday, Interstate 20 between Fort Worth and Eastland was reopened in both directions. Traffic was reportedly at a standstill for much of the overnight Saturday into Sunday on the interstate because of accidents resulting from a thick layer of ice. Interstate 35 north of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and U.S. 75 in Sherman and Denison were in the clearing stages, according to the release.
 
Over the weekend, TxDOT has had nearly 1,100 pieces of equipment and 1,700 employees working to clear roadways in North Texas, the agency reported. 
 
Motorists can obtain travel information by calling 800-452-9292. Road conditions and traffic updates are available on the agency’s Facebook page and Twitter.

For his part, Scannell said he spent his time during the stoppage listening to his radio, chatting on the CB, and trying to “stay warm and dry and get something to eat.” 

“There was a Walmart right next to where I was at, but the service roads were all jammed up,” he said. “A bunch of us all walked to a Popeyes up the road for dinner. Everybody was taking care of each other.”

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