DALLAS — Icy, treacherous sections of Interstate 35 north of Dallas were closed for hours at a time over the last day as tractor-trailers had trouble climbing hills, wrecks occurred and vehicles stalled, authorities said.
Texas Department of Transportation spokeswoman Michelle Releford said road graders and more sand and salt trucks were being sent to try to get rid of the ice.
“We’re sending in everything we’ve got,” said Releford, who added that in some spots the ice was so hard and mashed down that it was hard for the mixture to work. “We are definitely urging the public not to travel in the area.”
The backups started late Friday morning during the ice storm, said Jody Gonzalez, chief of Denton County Emergency Services.
“We removed five or six trucks and it would happen again,” he said Saturday, adding that on that stretch of interstate, people in some places were driving in rutted, 4-inch-thick ice.
Gonzalez said the road was “rough and rutted up.”
“It’s so thick they’ve used road graders and everything out there and they can barely bust it up,” he said.
Temperatures in much of Texas were expected to remain below freezing until today, even down to single digits in the Panhandle and South Plains.
North Texas had temperatures in the low to mid-20s Saturday.
Oncor utility crews are working around the clock to restore power in the Dallas-Fort Worth area after ice-laden tree limbs fell and downed power lines.
A spokeswoman said Saturday afternoon that about 105,000 people in the Dallas-Fort Worth area were without power, down from a peak of more than 270,000.
She said all power was expected to be restored by late tonight.
Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport said some cargo and passenger planes departed Saturday morning.
Two runways were open, and crews were working to clear more.
By midmorning, airlines had canceled more than 400 departures for Saturday, about 50 percent of the usual departure schedule.
The weather forced the cancellation of today’s Dallas Marathon, which was expected to draw 25,000 runners, some of whom had trained for months.
At least two drivers died in weather-related accidents.
Police in Arlington, about 20 miles west of Dallas, reported one driver was killed Friday when his car slammed into a truck.
And a spokeswoman with the Denton County Sheriff’s Office said one person died Saturday after a pickup truck went off of an icy Interstate 35 bridge and into Lake Lewisville.