Dallas, TX Icemageddon, Dec 2013
DFW area was not ready for last year’s ‘Icemageddon’
By Bill Hanna
Kye Cox was working as a terminal manager for deBoer Transportation in Cedar Hill last December when an ice storm struck — seemingly without warning.
While forecasters had been saying winter weather was on the way, Cox, like many others, had no idea that a major ice storm was looming. The combination of freezing rain, sleet and snow started falling on the afternoon of Dec. 5 and by the next morning a thick coating of ice covered North Texas, knocking out power for thousands and bringing the region to a standstill.
As people drove on the ice, some of it turned to slush, which became an ugly grayish brown when mixed with sand. When that slush refroze and hardened, area roads were transformed into rugged terrain — called “cobblestone ice” — and became virtually impossible for road crews to remove.
“It was like concrete,” Cox said of the bizarre road conditions. “It would shake the hell out of you.”
During the December 2013 winter storm, ice ruts on the I-20 bridges from Hulen Mall to Benbrook made driving very uncomfortable for motorists until TxDOT arrived with a large caravan of road graders and sand trucks to cut the ice up.
During the December 2013 winter storm, ice ruts on the I-20 bridges from Hulen Mall to Benbrook made driving very uncomfortable for motorists until TxDOT arrived with a large caravan of road graders and sand trucks to cut the ice up. | Paul Moseley Star-Telegram
Trucks littered the roadways and others were iced in at truck stops or shipping terminals, waiting for a big thaw.
“That storm shut down trucking in North Texas,” said Cox, adding that it took about three weeks to fully recover. Of the 397 trucks he was responsible for, he estimates about 200 were affected by the storm.
And the ice didn’t go away. It stayed below freezing for 61 hours during a period from Dec. 5 to Dec. 8.
“Icemageddon” was born.
At Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, hundreds of flights were canceled and thousands of travelers stranded. If they could, businesses shut down. People stayed at home for days. Those who did venture out found sidewalks and roads impassable. In Fort Worth, there were four fatalities and 1,621 injuries, most from falls and wrecks.
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