Drivers stuck on icy I-35 as cold blast hits Texas

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 7, 2013 at 9:51 pm •  Published: December 7, 2013
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Traffic crawled, then stopped for hours, she said.

"That's kind of when we decided we better not go any further," she said. "At that point, we were stopped for a couple of hours. We decided it was just best to stay."

Across Texas, at least four drivers died in weather-related accidents.

In West Texas, a pileup of 10 vehicles on Interstate 10 caused by icy conditions closed a portion of the highway Saturday about 160 miles east of El Paso and claimed the life of at least one.

A driver in Arlington, about 20 miles west of Dallas, 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.

A West Texas man was killed in an accident caused by slick road conditions Thursday.

Oncor utility crews were working to restore power in the Dallas-Fort Worth area after ice-laden tree limbs fell and downed power lines. A spokeswoman said Saturday evening that about 75,000 people in the area were without power, down from a peak of more than 270,000. She said all power was expected to be restored by late Sunday night.

At Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport's Terminal D, a few dozen people were sleeping on cots and many others were anxiously waiting for flights out on Saturday night or Sunday morning. Airport staff served free coffee, cookies and sandwiches.

Airlines cancelled more than 400 flights Saturday, about 50 percent of the usual departure schedule. The airport said some cargo and passenger planes departed Saturday. Two runways were open, and crews were working to clear more.

Narasimhan Rangarajan had come from halfway across the world — Chennai, India — to see his brother in Salt Lake City, Utah. He laughed that his vacation had been "not so good so far."

He hoped his flight Saturday night to Salt Lake City would take off. Next to his cot, a friend who had traveled with him from India had his arm over his head, trying to sleep.

Joel Dutton, 26, was on his way home to Huntsville, Ala., from Dubai after completing a yearlong Christian mission trip. A canceled flight meant he was going to have to sleep on a cot until Sunday morning.

"I'm used to traveling and backpacking, so it wouldn't be my first time staying in an airport," Dutton said.

___

Associated Press reporters Nomaan Merchant in Dallas and Michael Graczyk in Houston contributed to this report.



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