March 2, 2021

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One down, one to go: Another winter storm could dump 5 more inches of snow on Dallas-Fort Worth – The Dallas Morning News

4 min read

This story will be updated regularly.

The sun came out Monday, but it didn’t do much to warm the millions of Texans who were struggling without power.

By about 3 p.m. Monday the high had risen to only 13 degrees — not nearly enough to clear the 4 inches of snow that fell Sunday at DFW International Airport.

And before people have had a good chance to steady themselves, more snow could be on its way to add to the slick conditions that have made even short trips from home treacherous, according to the National Weather Service.

Lows on Tuesday are expected to drop into the single digits again, and gusty winds will make it feel more like -15 degrees, according to Jason Dunn, a Weather Service meteorologist.

Dallas-Fort Worth was under a wind chill warning through noon Tuesday — the first warning of its kind ever in North Texas.

“The cold wind chills could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes,” the Weather Service said. “Avoid outside activities if possible.”

The next round of wintry weather is expected to move into Texas by Tuesday afternoon, crossing the Red River before driving south toward Dallas, Dunn said.

Areas north of Interstate 20 could get 3 to 5 more inches of snow.

“This should be mainly a freezing rain and/or sleet mix, which could result in additional significant icing especially south of the metroplex,” he said.

After a winter storm warning expired Monday morning, the National Weather Service issued a second for all of Dallas-Fort Worth. The warning, scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday to 6 a.m. Thursday, urged North Texans to avoid travel late Tuesday into Wednesday and warned more power outages were likely.

Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday deployed the National Guard across the state to perform welfare checks and help take those in need to warming centers.

To clear roads and help essential workers, Abbott also deployed resources including 3,300 state troopers and 3,300 patrol vehicles, as well as workers with the Texas Military Department, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas A&M Forest Service, Texas Department of Transportation and the Texas Emergency Medical Task Force.

Temperatures plunged into the single digits as far south as San Antonio, and officials in Harris County warned that the freeze could create problems on the scale of the hurricanes that slam the Gulf Coast every summer.

“We’re living through a really historic event,” said Jason Furtado, a professor of meteorology at the University of Oklahoma.

Disruptions

Most flights out of DFW International Airport and Dallas Love Field were stopped for a second day.

Fort Worth-based American Airlines canceled about 371 flights at DFW International Airport, which isits primary hub responsible for funneling most of its traffic through the central United States. The cancellations nearly matched the 386 flights the airline halted Sunday.

Area water utilities were already receiving dozens of calls about frozen pipes early Monday, and the number rose as temperatures stayed below freezing. Residents were encouraged to keep faucets running to lower the risk of freezing.

Grand Prairie was dealing with water main breaks that crews were having trouble fixing because of the extreme cold. However, neither break was causing major problems.

The power outages and dangerous road conditions forced many businesses to close Monday.

NorthPark Center and Golden Triangle Mall in Denton were closed all day, and the Galleria in Dallas shut down at noon. Many grocery stores such as Kroger and Central Market also planned to close early.

H-E-B, the state’s largest chain of grocery stores, closed locations around Austin and San Antonio, cities that have few resources to clear roads.

The severe cold was also causing problems for the state’s coronavirus vaccine distribution efforts. State health officials said Texas, which was set to receive more than 400,000 vaccine doses this week, now does not expect deliveries to occur until at least Wednesday.

Risky roads

The Texas Department of Transportation on Monday said nearly every roadway in North Texas had some snow accumulation after Sunday’s storm.

Crews worked Monday to treat icy patches and plow, but TxDOT strongly discouraged people from hitting the streets and warned that traffic signals could be affected by power outages.

“Use caution at these intersections, and treat them as a four-way stop until power is restored,” TxDOT said in a written statement.

Dallas Area Rapid Transit suspended all light-rail service Sunday night and will not resume rail operations until Thursday morning.

Trinity Railway Express service was suspended from Monday night through Thursday morning. DART buses were operating on a Saturday schedule, and 14 shuttle-bus routes were added. The Dallas streetcar was not running while DART operating on a winter-weather plan.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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