Icy weather has big impact in Wise County

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by MARIE SAAVEDRA

Bio | Email | Follow: @MSaavedraTV

WFAA

Posted on February 2, 2014 at 10:43 PM

Updated Sunday, Feb 2 at 11:20 PM

DECATUR — North Texans expect some ice and slush in the winter months, but the problems that even a little sleet can create still catch some motorists by surprise.

"I hit a small patch of ice, I kept steering the car," said Brianna Wilson, who had a close call in Decatur. "Then there was a bigger patch of ice, and then it kind of slid off and went toward the pole."

She was millimeters away from a crash, but wasn’t as shaken up as her mom, who came to get her.

"I am scared for her. Being a mother!" said Rheaba Wilson.

Mom was right again. Wise County was a slick mess.

Slush froze over, leading to long backups on icy bridges and dozens of cars running off the road.

Texas Department of Transportation snowplows cruised Highway 287 through town. Decatur officials asked people to stay home — and many did, including a few that were due to work Sunday night.

“My evening crew couldn’t come in because of the weather,” said Diego Hernandez, a manager at Decatur’s Chicken Express restaurant.

There weren’t many employees in on Sunday... or customers, either. Hernandez said the owners decided it was best to close early for everyone’s safety.

“I live 15 minutes out of town, so I’d better get out there before it starts freezing over again,” Hernandez said.

Charlotte Walker, who lives in town and came to eat, understood.

“We’re just not used to ice and snow,” she said.

But her timing couldn’t have been better. She got the last meal of the day, and took it safely home, planning to stay off the roads until Monday.

Just 55 miles to the southeast, the City of Dallas called off its icy roads alert on Sunday night.

Dennis Ware, interim director of Dallas Street Services, says his agency's special "Ice Force One" tactical weather plan will not have road crews come in at midnight Sunday as originally planned.

Ware said road conditions were dry, and there was no need for the extra workers. They did not end up sanding in the City of Dallas.

There will be normal overnight crews on staff to deal with any trouble spots for the Monday morning commute.

WFAA reporter Lauren Zakalik in Dallas contributed to this report.

E-mail msaavedra@wfaa.com

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