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ANALYSIS

Icy storm slams Southwest

‘Ice Friday’ shuts down north Texas

  • Icy conditions make for light traffic on the highways in Dallas, Friday, Dec. 6, 2013. As snow and freezing rain blanketed normally sun-swept North Texas, residents accustomed to warmer temperatures appeared to heed warnings on what one hardware store manager called "Ice Friday," staying off nearly impassable roadways and out of a skin-stinging cold. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

    Icy conditions make for light traffic on the highways in Dallas, Friday, Dec. 6, 2013. As snow and freezing rain blanketed normally sun-swept North Texas, residents accustomed to warmer temperatures appeared to heed warnings on what one hardware store manager called "Ice Friday," staying off nearly impassable roadways and out of a skin-stinging cold. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

  • Taffic on I-30 traffic moves  slowly east due to ice that accumulated overnight in Fort Worth, Texas on Friday, Dec. 6, 2013. Winter storm and ice warnings are in effect through much of today for parts of six states in the Midwest, including Texas, Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. (AP Photo/The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Ron T. Ennis)  MAGS OUT; (FORT WORTH WEEKLY, 360 WEST); INTERNET OUT

    Taffic on I-30 traffic moves slowly east due to ice that accumulated overnight in Fort Worth, Texas on Friday, Dec. 6, 2013. Winter storm and ice warnings are in effect through much of today for parts of six states in the Midwest, including Texas, Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. (AP Photo/The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Ron T. Ennis) MAGS OUT; (FORT WORTH WEEKLY, 360 WEST); INTERNET OUT

  • Laura Perez scrapes ice off of her car as she prepares to drive to work in icy conditions Friday morning, Dec. 6, 2013, in Dallas.  An ice storm in North Texas has knocked out power to more than a quarter of a million homes and business, canceled almost 1,000 flights and contributed to a fatal wreck. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for the Dallas area until Friday night. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

    Laura Perez scrapes ice off of her car as she prepares to drive to work in icy conditions Friday morning, Dec. 6, 2013, in Dallas. An ice storm in North Texas has knocked out power to more than a quarter of a million homes and business, canceled almost 1,000 flights and contributed to a fatal wreck. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for the Dallas area until Friday night. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

  • Police and tow trucks shut down the overpass on Toll road 45 going west as they try to remove wrecked vehicles off the road Friday morning, Dec. 6, 2013, in Austin, Texas. The National Weather Service says the cold, wet weather reached Austin with light rain and temperatures near freezing. (AP Photo/Austin American-Statesman, Ricardo Brazziell)  AUSTIN CHRONICLE OUT, COMMUNITY IMPACT OUT, MAGS OUT; NO SALES; INTERNET AND TV MUST CREDIT PHOTOGRAPHER AND STATESMAN.COM

    Police and tow trucks shut down the overpass on Toll road 45 going west as they try to remove wrecked vehicles off the road Friday morning, Dec. 6, 2013, in Austin, Texas. The National Weather Service says the cold, wet weather reached Austin with light rain and temperatures near freezing. (AP Photo/Austin American-Statesman, Ricardo Brazziell) AUSTIN CHRONICLE OUT, COMMUNITY IMPACT OUT, MAGS OUT; NO SALES; INTERNET AND TV MUST CREDIT PHOTOGRAPHER AND STATESMAN.COM

  • This photo shows cars and trucks stalled on the Highway 183 southbound at Toll Road 45 Friday, Dec. 6, 2013, in Austin, Texas. The National Weather Service says the cold, wet weather reached Austin with light rain and temperatures near freezing. (AP Photo/Austin American-Statesman, Ricardo Brazziell)  AUSTIN CHRONICLE OUT, COMMUNITY IMPACT OUT, MAGS OUT; NO SALES; INTERNET AND TV MUST CREDIT PHOTOGRAPHER AND STATESMAN.COM

    This photo shows cars and trucks stalled on the Highway 183 southbound at Toll Road 45 Friday, Dec. 6, 2013, in Austin, Texas. The National Weather Service says the cold, wet weather reached Austin with light rain and temperatures near freezing. (AP Photo/Austin American-Statesman, Ricardo Brazziell) AUSTIN CHRONICLE OUT, COMMUNITY IMPACT OUT, MAGS OUT; NO SALES; INTERNET AND TV MUST CREDIT PHOTOGRAPHER AND STATESMAN.COM

  • Police and tow trucks shut down the overpass on Toll road 45 going west as they try to remove wrecked vehicles off the road Friday morning, Dec. 6, 2013, in Austin, Texas. The National Weather Service says the cold, wet weather reached Austin with light rain and temperatures near freezing. (AP Photo/Austin American-Statesman, Ricardo Brazziell)  AUSTIN CHRONICLE OUT, COMMUNITY IMPACT OUT, MAGS OUT; NO SALES; INTERNET AND TV MUST CREDIT PHOTOGRAPHER AND STATESMAN.COM

    Police and tow trucks shut down the overpass on Toll road 45 going west as they try to remove wrecked vehicles off the road Friday morning, Dec. 6, 2013, in Austin, Texas. The National Weather Service says the cold, wet weather reached Austin with light rain and temperatures near freezing. (AP Photo/Austin American-Statesman, Ricardo Brazziell) AUSTIN CHRONICLE OUT, COMMUNITY IMPACT OUT, MAGS OUT; NO SALES; INTERNET AND TV MUST CREDIT PHOTOGRAPHER AND STATESMAN.COM

  • Hugo Pedroza, a light equipment operator with the City of Richardson, helps clear away limbs from an ice-covered tree that fell across a neighborhood intersection, Friday, Dec. 6, 2013, in Richardson, Texas. An ice storm in North Texas has knocked out power to more than a quarter of a million homes and business, canceled almost 1,000 flights and contributed to a fatal wreck. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for the Dallas area until Friday night. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

    Hugo Pedroza, a light equipment operator with the City of Richardson, helps clear away limbs from an ice-covered tree that fell across a neighborhood intersection, Friday, Dec. 6, 2013, in Richardson, Texas. An ice storm in North Texas has knocked out power to more than a quarter of a million homes and business, canceled almost 1,000 flights and contributed to a fatal wreck. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for the Dallas area until Friday night. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

  • Stephen Lanning, a city of Richardson, employee uses a chain saw to cut limbs from a ice covered tree that fell across a neighborhood intersection, Friday, Dec. 6, 2013, in Richardson, Texas. An ice storm in North Texas has knocked out power to more than a quarter of a million homes and business, canceled almost 1,000 flights and contributed to a fatal wreck. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for the Dallas area until Friday night. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

    Stephen Lanning, a city of Richardson, employee uses a chain saw to cut limbs from a ice covered tree that fell across a neighborhood intersection, Friday, Dec. 6, 2013, in Richardson, Texas. An ice storm in North Texas has knocked out power to more than a quarter of a million homes and business, canceled almost 1,000 flights and contributed to a fatal wreck. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for the Dallas area until Friday night. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

  • Jane Giles, 15, right, gets some help from her sister Sarah Giles 17, as she skates on an icy sidewalk Friday, Dec. 6, 2013, in Richardson, Texas. The National Weather Service issued winter storm and ice warnings through much of Friday for parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Tennessee. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

    Jane Giles, 15, right, gets some help from her sister Sarah Giles 17, as she skates on an icy sidewalk Friday, Dec. 6, 2013, in Richardson, Texas. The National Weather Service issued winter storm and ice warnings through much of Friday for parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Tennessee. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

  • Sophia Laska, 6, gets a ride on a downhill ice covered sidewalk with her father Andrew Laska Friday, Dec. 6, 2013, in Richardson, Texas. The National Weather Service issued winter storm and ice warnings through much of Friday for parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Tennessee.  (AP Photo/LM Otero)

    Sophia Laska, 6, gets a ride on a downhill ice covered sidewalk with her father Andrew Laska Friday, Dec. 6, 2013, in Richardson, Texas. The National Weather Service issued winter storm and ice warnings through much of Friday for parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Tennessee. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

  • A pickup truck moves along the snow-covered roadway of Interstate 44 near 41st Street and Yale Avenue in Tulsa, Okla., Friday, Dec. 6, 2013. Preliminary estimates from the National Weather Service show that much of central and south-central Oklahoma, including Oklahoma City, received 2 to 4 inches of snow overnight. Northern portions of the state, including Enid and Ponca City, saw a dusting of snow. (AP Photo/Tulsa World, Matt Barnard)  ONLINE OUT; KOTV OUT; KJRH OUT; KTUL OUT; KOKI OUT; KQCW OUT; KDOR OUT; TULSA OUT; TULSA ONLINE OUT

    A pickup truck moves along the snow-covered roadway of Interstate 44 near 41st Street and Yale Avenue in Tulsa, Okla., Friday, Dec. 6, 2013. Preliminary estimates from the National Weather Service show that much of central and south-central Oklahoma, including Oklahoma City, received 2 to 4 inches of snow overnight. Northern portions of the state, including Enid and Ponca City, saw a dusting of snow. (AP Photo/Tulsa World, Matt Barnard) ONLINE OUT; KOTV OUT; KJRH OUT; KTUL OUT; KOKI OUT; KQCW OUT; KDOR OUT; TULSA OUT; TULSA ONLINE OUT

  • Icy conditions make for light traffic on the highways in Dallas, Friday, Dec. 6, 2013. As snow and freezing rain blanketed normally sun-swept North Texas, residents accustomed to warmer temperatures appeared to heed warnings on what one hardware store manager called "Ice Friday," staying off nearly impassable roadways and out of a skin-stinging cold. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

    Icy conditions make for light traffic on the highways in Dallas, Friday, Dec. 6, 2013. As snow and freezing rain blanketed normally sun-swept North Texas, residents accustomed to warmer temperatures appeared to heed warnings on what one hardware store manager called "Ice Friday," staying off nearly impassable roadways and out of a skin-stinging cold. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

  • Icy conditions make for light traffic on the highways in Dallas, Friday, Dec. 6, 2013. As snow and freezing rain blanketed normally sun-swept North Texas, residents accustomed to warmer temperatures appeared to heed warnings on what one hardware store manager called "Ice Friday," staying off nearly impassable roadways and out of a skin-stinging cold. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
  • Taffic on I-30 traffic moves  slowly east due to ice that accumulated overnight in Fort Worth, Texas on Friday, Dec. 6, 2013. Winter storm and ice warnings are in effect through much of today for parts of six states in the Midwest, including Texas, Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. (AP Photo/The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Ron T. Ennis)  MAGS OUT; (FORT WORTH WEEKLY, 360 WEST); INTERNET OUT
  • Laura Perez scrapes ice off of her car as she prepares to drive to work in icy conditions Friday morning, Dec. 6, 2013, in Dallas.  An ice storm in North Texas has knocked out power to more than a quarter of a million homes and business, canceled almost 1,000 flights and contributed to a fatal wreck. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for the Dallas area until Friday night. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
  • Police and tow trucks shut down the overpass on Toll road 45 going west as they try to remove wrecked vehicles off the road Friday morning, Dec. 6, 2013, in Austin, Texas. The National Weather Service says the cold, wet weather reached Austin with light rain and temperatures near freezing. (AP Photo/Austin American-Statesman, Ricardo Brazziell)  AUSTIN CHRONICLE OUT, COMMUNITY IMPACT OUT, MAGS OUT; NO SALES; INTERNET AND TV MUST CREDIT PHOTOGRAPHER AND STATESMAN.COM
  • This photo shows cars and trucks stalled on the Highway 183 southbound at Toll Road 45 Friday, Dec. 6, 2013, in Austin, Texas. The National Weather Service says the cold, wet weather reached Austin with light rain and temperatures near freezing. (AP Photo/Austin American-Statesman, Ricardo Brazziell)  AUSTIN CHRONICLE OUT, COMMUNITY IMPACT OUT, MAGS OUT; NO SALES; INTERNET AND TV MUST CREDIT PHOTOGRAPHER AND STATESMAN.COM
  • Police and tow trucks shut down the overpass on Toll road 45 going west as they try to remove wrecked vehicles off the road Friday morning, Dec. 6, 2013, in Austin, Texas. The National Weather Service says the cold, wet weather reached Austin with light rain and temperatures near freezing. (AP Photo/Austin American-Statesman, Ricardo Brazziell)  AUSTIN CHRONICLE OUT, COMMUNITY IMPACT OUT, MAGS OUT; NO SALES; INTERNET AND TV MUST CREDIT PHOTOGRAPHER AND STATESMAN.COM
  • Hugo Pedroza, a light equipment operator with the City of Richardson, helps clear away limbs from an ice-covered tree that fell across a neighborhood intersection, Friday, Dec. 6, 2013, in Richardson, Texas. An ice storm in North Texas has knocked out power to more than a quarter of a million homes and business, canceled almost 1,000 flights and contributed to a fatal wreck. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for the Dallas area until Friday night. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
  • Stephen Lanning, a city of Richardson, employee uses a chain saw to cut limbs from a ice covered tree that fell across a neighborhood intersection, Friday, Dec. 6, 2013, in Richardson, Texas. An ice storm in North Texas has knocked out power to more than a quarter of a million homes and business, canceled almost 1,000 flights and contributed to a fatal wreck. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for the Dallas area until Friday night. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
  • Jane Giles, 15, right, gets some help from her sister Sarah Giles 17, as she skates on an icy sidewalk Friday, Dec. 6, 2013, in Richardson, Texas. The National Weather Service issued winter storm and ice warnings through much of Friday for parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Tennessee. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
  • Sophia Laska, 6, gets a ride on a downhill ice covered sidewalk with her father Andrew Laska Friday, Dec. 6, 2013, in Richardson, Texas. The National Weather Service issued winter storm and ice warnings through much of Friday for parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Tennessee.  (AP Photo/LM Otero)
  • A pickup truck moves along the snow-covered roadway of Interstate 44 near 41st Street and Yale Avenue in Tulsa, Okla., Friday, Dec. 6, 2013. Preliminary estimates from the National Weather Service show that much of central and south-central Oklahoma, including Oklahoma City, received 2 to 4 inches of snow overnight. Northern portions of the state, including Enid and Ponca City, saw a dusting of snow. (AP Photo/Tulsa World, Matt Barnard)  ONLINE OUT; KOTV OUT; KJRH OUT; KTUL OUT; KOKI OUT; KQCW OUT; KDOR OUT; TULSA OUT; TULSA ONLINE OUT
  • Icy conditions make for light traffic on the highways in Dallas, Friday, Dec. 6, 2013. As snow and freezing rain blanketed normally sun-swept North Texas, residents accustomed to warmer temperatures appeared to heed warnings on what one hardware store manager called "Ice Friday," staying off nearly impassable roadways and out of a skin-stinging cold. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Freezing rain and stinging winds slammed the Southwest yesterday and made a strangely blank landscape out of normally sun-drenched North Texas: mostly empty highways covered in a sometimes impassable frost, closed schools and businesses, and millions of residents hunkered down for icy conditions expected to last through the weekend.

Earlier this week, many in Texas were basking in spring-like temperatures that hit the 80s. But by Thursday, Texas was facing the same wintry blast that has slammed much of the U.S., bringing frigid temperatures, ice and snow.

The weather forced the cancellation of tomorrow’s Dallas Marathon, which was expected to draw 25,000 runners, some of whom had trained for months. A quarter of a million customers in north Texas were left without power, and many businesses told employees to stay home to avoid the slick roads.

Rob Yates, 44, of the Dallas suburb of Rowlett, had trained for four months to participate in the half-marathon tomorrow – his first time competing at that distance. His wife and three children were going to attend the race to volunteer and cheer him on, he said.

Now, “I’ll probably be catching up on some work,” Yates said, laughing.

Yates spent yesterday at home with his children, who were outside pulling off icicles and wishing more snow had fallen. But Yates, originally from near Manchester, England, said he stayed inside with his wife.

“It’s kind of unusual weather for Dallas, so they’re just having fun with it,” Yates said. “Me and my wife – adults are not particularly impressed with it.”

Yesterday’s storm stretched from South Texas, where anxious residents bagged outdoor plants to protect them from the cold, through the Midwest and Ohio Valley and up into northern New England and the Canadian Maritimes.

In California, four people died of hypothermia in the San Francisco Bay Area as the region dealt with freezing temperatures, according to the Santa Clara County coroner’s office. Rosie Dominguez, a spokeswoman for the office, confirmed the deaths and their cause but provided no further information. Dominguez referred questions to a county spokeswoman, who did not immediately return a phone call yesterday afternoon.

In north Texas, agencies and residents haven’t forgotten the disastrous week before the Super Bowl two years ago, when an inadequate response to a snowstorm crippled the region and left visitors stranded on impassable highways.

People in the Dallas area raided grocery shelves and home improvement stores Thursday in advance of what one store manager joked was the Black Friday of bad weather – “Ice Friday.” Most people appeared to heed warnings yesterday to stay inside.

Bundled up against the elements, Matthew Johnson was one of the few people braving the cold Friday.

“We’re going to walk the dog and have fun outside, I guess,” said Johnson, standing near his home in the Dallas suburb of Richardson.

The weather led to more than 1,000 cancelations at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, one of the nation’s busiest airports and a key hub for Fort Worth-based American Airlines. Many travelers were stuck waiting — and hoping for another flight. Those arriving in North Texas were having trouble finding cabs as many drivers stayed home. Dallas-area light rail trains were not running.

“I don’t let things like this stop me,” said Dayo Bankale, a taxi driver at the airport Friday. “I’m not scared.”

Rosibel Gutierrez Artavia, shivering in a light sweater as she waited for a taxi, had traveled from Alajuela, Costa Rica, to suburban Fort Worth to see family. Relatives called her before she left Costa Rica to warn her to pack warm. But she got the call when she was already at the airport.

“I did not come prepared with snow clothes,” Artavia said in Spanish.

But she was thankful the weather didn’t prevent her from boarding a flight that got her from Houston to North Texas and close to her family.

“I prayed to God and he listened to me,” she said.

Others didn’t make it to Dallas at all.

Julie Bahbaz, 31, of Little Rock, Ark., was planning to run in the marathon but decided Friday not to try to drive the more than 300 miles to Dallas shortly before the race was canceled.

“I’ve been thinking about it for the last couple of days and hoping (the forecasts) were wrong, but apparently not,” Bahbaz said.

Police in Arlington, about 20 miles west of Dallas, reported one driver was killed when his car slammed into a truck. Authorities in Oklahoma reported two weather-related traffic deaths.

Storms this week dumped 1 to 2 feet of snow in parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin and draped many communities in skin-stinging cold. The temperature in parts of North Dakota on Thursday was a few degrees below zero, but wind chill pushed it to nearly 40 below.

———

Associated Press writers Diana Heidgerd, Terry Wallace and David Warren in Dallas; Betsy Blaney in Lubbock, Texas; John L. Mone in Richardson, Texas; Scott Mayerowitz in New York; Michelle Rindels in Grapevine, Texas; and Ramit Plushnick-Masti in Houston contributed to this report.

having read all the posts here from the leftists "Carpe diem" I have now been convinced that all problems can be traced to 1 or 2 things. Either Bush caused it or Globull Warming caused it. Because this daily weather event reached into Texas I am sure it was Bush's fault.

I see this as "fairness", it is time that folks in Texas share some of our weather. I read yesterday that two German scientists project that in the next 100 years the Earth will cool and enter another "little ice age". So much for glo"bull" warming. Don't worry Sail, Joe Voter is beginning to see the lies of Obama and the agenda of the Left on glo"bull" warming.

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