DALLAS (AP) — Old Man Winter took another swipe at Texas as bone-chilling cold settled over the state, hundreds of flights were canceled, officials called for energy conservation measures and interstates turned into parking lots extending for miles.
North Texas took the brunt of the latest storm, but freezing temperatures extended Monday into Central Texas and elsewhere. Operators of the state's electric grid urged conservation after icy weather led to power outages. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas asked consumers to limit power through Tuesday morning amid concerns over high demand.
The energy utility Oncor reported about 7,600 homes and businesses without electricity at one point, mainly in the Tyler and Dallas-Fort Worth areas.
The National Weather Service issued a wind chill advisory until midmorning Monday for the Dallas-Fort Worth area as earlier temperatures dipped into the teens. About two inches of sleet fell in some parts of North Texas, prompting the closure of many schools and causing hundreds of traffic accidents throughout the region.
More than 300 flights were canceled Sunday at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. American Airlines alone canceled another 140 flights Monday.
But perhaps the most dramatic scenes Monday were on interstates where motorists reported being stranded for hours.
Traffic on Monday morning was at a virtual standstill on northbound Interstate 45, the primary corridor between Dallas and Houston, Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Lonny Haschel said. The backup extended for at least 15 miles stretching south from Corsicana, he said, but some motorists reported coming to a stop in Fairfield, about 30 miles south of Corsicana, according to KRLD-AM in Dallas.