Police report crashes on roads frozen by second winter storm of the month; relief expected on Friday.

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North Texans faced treacherous conditions Thursday after the second winter storm this month dropped sleet that caused numerous accidents on area roads. Relief is expected by Friday morning, according to meteorologists.

Temperatures are expected to rise above freezing Friday morning before dropping back toward freezing in the evening, according to the National Weather Service in Fort Worth.

More chance of precipitation will arrive Friday evening, with a possibility of freezing rain or sleet early Saturday, the weather service said. All ice should clear by mid-morning Saturday, with warmer, drier weather arriving Sunday, he said.

Winter weather meant slippery roads for drivers on Thursday, Fort Worth-based MedStar said it had responded to nine crashes, 76 falls – 41 of which were weather-related – and six hypothermia calls as of 5 p.m. Thursday .

Carrollton police reported numerous crashes and trapped drivers across the city, including a police cruiser that was hit Thursday morning.

“It’s not just about bridges and elevated surfaces this morning,” the department said. “All the roads are icy and dangerous.”

Most of the ice had melted by Thursday afternoon, but patches of ice could remain through Friday morning, the weather service said.

Crews inspect the back of a Northlake Police SUV that crashed while being loaded onto a flatbed tow truck on Thursday. The vehicle and an officer inside became trapped under the truck after the large truck jackknifed on Interstate 35E.(Tom Fox / personal photographer)

Northlake Police say two squad cars were stopped on the shoulder of I-35E while officers worked on an accident when a tractor-trailer lost control and jackknifed , hitting the two units and a woman’s car.

The officers, identified as Matthew Koeper, 38, and Thomas Martinez, 47, were taken to Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Grapevine. Northlake Police Chief Robert Crawford told KXAS-TV (NBC5) both officers are doing well.

The tractor-trailer driver was taken to hospital in an unknown condition and the woman refused to receive medical treatment, NBC5 reported.

ERCOT grid

No major power outages were reported in North Texas on Thursday. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which operates the state’s power grid, said supply conditions could be difficult through Friday due to weather.

Average wholesale electricity prices rose as high as $4,000 per megawatt hour during Thursday morning’s freeze. That’s about 40 times higher than the normal price, Bloomberg reported.

Peter Lake, chairman of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, said the grid had adequate power and was operating more conservatively since last year’s winter storm, Bloomberg reported.

Under the eyes of Colin Neely (right), William Heatly tried to get up after falling on a...
As Colin Neely (right) looks on, William Heatly tried to get up after falling on an ice-covered pedestrian bridge at White Rock Lake on Thursday.(Lola Gomez / Staff Photographer)

During a freeze earlier this month, authorities overestimated demand by nearly nine gigawatts, an amount needed for about 1.8 million homes, Bloomberg reported.

“What we don’t want to do is underestimate and then have more demand than expected and not be able to meet it,” Lake said in the Bloomberg report.

School closures, DART plans

A handful of smaller school districts — including DeSoto and Everman — have canceled Friday classes. Officials in Dallas, Fort Worth, Krum and Crandall delayed the start of the school year by two hours.

Dallas Area Rapid Transit said it would offer limited service through Friday. Rail operations will be suspended and bus routes will be on a Sunday schedule from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Early voting locations have been closed in several North Texas counties, including Collin, Denton, Johnson and Rockwall. The last day for early voting is Friday, with the Texas primaries on Tuesday.

The latest predictions from NBC5:

Friday: 43/34, scattered showers

Saturday: 46/33, scattered showers

Sunday: 58/33, partly cloudy

Monday: 62/42, mostly sunny

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