North Texas Thaws After Ice Storm

Some districts delayed, closed schools Tuesday

Though it's still cold, temperatures rose above freezing for the third straight day -- helping the Metroplex thaw out from an ice storm that has forced the cancellation of hundreds of flights, closed schools and cut electricity to thousands of homes and businesses since Friday.

NBC 5 Meteorologists said that while temperatures Tuesday will be above freezing for several hours, temperatures aren't expected to get into the 40s until Wednesday. The rise in temperatures on Monday allowed many patches of ice to melt, but overnight lows re-froze some of that ice.

Thousands of students in North Texas whose classes were canceled Friday were out of school again at the start of the week because of lingering icy conditions. Hundreds of schools were closed or delayed on Tuesday as officials worried about lingering traffic difficulties and poor road conditions in several areas.

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Residents in the Fort Worth’s Sendera Ranch neighborhood began to venture out with Tuesday’s sun.

“It’s been a week today since I’ve been out and I am a basket case,” said Annette Kidd. “So we’re going shopping, missed a whole week of shopping and that doesn’t work either.”

Paramedics from the neighborhood fire station have taken a lot of calls after slips and falls, some of them causing broken bones.

“We’ve had one come up the station and one we met on the side of the road cause they couldn’t make it to the emergency room” said Capt. Jack Wilson, with the Fort Worth Fire Department.

Roads are drying out, but small bridges in the neighborhood remain covered in ice, which started to turn to slush under the afternoon sun.

“Sidewalks and the parking lots are still pretty slick” said Wilson.

North Texas Road Conditions

Five days after the storm paralyzed North Texas, the Texas Department of Transportation on Monday defended its work and said its crews are working as fast as possible to clear highways.

A task force of crews using graders with heavy blades had chipped away 70 percent of the so-called cobblestone ice by Monday evening. Cobblestone ice refers to the large rocks of ice that have accumulated on bridges and overpasses. Patches of the ice formation were still visible Tuesday morning on some highways.

Many bridges remained icy and the agency urged drivers to use caution Monday and Tuesday morning as the National Weather Service forecast temperatures would be in the upper 30s, giving way to warmer conditions and sunny skies by Tuesday.

NBC 5's Samantha Davies is tweeting about traffic conditions on her account. Click here to follow her. !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src=p+"://";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Airlines Closer to Resuming Normal Schedules

Officials at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport expect most airlines to resume normal flight schedules on Tuesday -- resulting in approximately 750 departures.  Only 93 cancellations for Tuesday have been announced.  So few people slept in the terminal overnight Monday that officials didn't even bother to count the total.

By the end of Tuesday, the airport's seventh runway is expected to be cleared for use, though the airport only uses five runways at a time.

Airport officials said there were about 500 departures on Monday, about 60 percent of the normal number, and that they cleared and opened a sixth runway.  All runways, taxiways and roads are clear of ice and in good shape as of Monday afternoon.

On Monday, Fort Worth-based American Airlines and American Eagle canceled 700 flights system-wide, though most were in North Texas. The carriers on a typical day operate about 3,500 flights, said spokeswoman Dori Alvarez.

Power Outages

Oncor, a Dallas-based electric utility, said about 2,400 customers are still without power on Tuesday.  The majority of the outages remain in Dallas, Tarrant and Parker counties.

"As of Monday night, storm restoration in the Dallas area is essentially complete," a statement on the utility's web site said.

Outages peaked at 270,000 at the height of the storm Friday, after the area was pelted with an ice storm that resulted in ice-laden tree limbs falling and downing power lines.

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