(February 9, 2011)—Travel conditions were improving Wednesday afternoon in Central Texas as gusty winds and spotty sunlight helped clear roadways, but slick spots remain.
A blast of cold Arctic air combined with light rain early Wednesday left many streets and highways with a thin coat of ice that left drivers slipping and sliding.
A number of mostly minor accidents were reported Wednesday morning throughout Central Texas.
Interstate traffic was backed up in the Temple area and in Hill County because of accidents.
Some drivers found themselves stuck on slick hills, such as the Highway 6 access road off Bosque Boulevard in Waco.
Schools closed, opened late or closed early; businesses posted late openings, and authorities advised residents to stay home if possible.
Some slick patches remain, however, and whatever ice remains on roadways and other surfaces isn’t likely to melt until Thursday afternoon when temperatures will rise above freezing.
Texas Department of Transportation spokesman Ken Roberts said sanding trucks were dispatched throughout Central Texas as police agencies asked for help with slick roadways.
Travel Was Treacherous Wednesday Morning
Wednesday morning, the Department of Public Safety reported numerous accidents along Interstate 35 from Salado to Hillsboro and traffic was moving at a crawl.
Accidents were reported between Waco and Temple Wednesday morning and reports indicate the interstate is icy from Dallas into Williamson County.
West Loop 340 in Waco, Loop 363 in Temple and U.S. Highway 190 in Killeen were also icy.
A News 10 viewer reported black ice on Highway 84 outside of McGregor Wednesday morning.
In Temple traffic northbound interstate traffic was moving slowly because of a crash near the Industrial Drive overpass.
Also in Temple Midway Drive on the hill near Bonham Middle School and was being closed.
In Waco, Lake Shore Drive was closed from Mt. Carmel to Hilltop and icy conditions were reported in the area of Bosque Boulevard and Highway 6 where some motorists were stranded on a slick hill on the Highway 6 access road.
In Hill County, a series of accidents were reported on the interstate.
A News 10 viewer reported an accident Wednesday morning at Highway 77 and Highway 53 in the Rosebud area.
Authorities were discouraging all but essential travel.
U.S. Highway 281 and U.S. 84 in far western Coryell County were reported beginning to ice, especially on bridges, at about 5 a.m.
San Saba County sheriff’s deputies reported icing on bridges and power out in the Richland Springs area.
Mills County sheriff’s office reported icing on bridges but clear road surfaces otherwise.
Traffic was at a standstill Wednesday morning in parts of the Dallas-Fort Worth area because of ice and accidents.
Dallas and Fort Worth school districts called off classes Wednesday.
Amarillo schools were also closed.
The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for the Texas Panhandle.
Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport canceled about 120 departures.
Spokesman David Magana said the airport anticipated operating a full schedule later Wednesday when conditions were expected to improve.