A First-Hand Experience of Driving Through the Fort Worth Icy ‘Winter Wonderland’
It was literally the weirdest trip to Fort Worth my family has ever taken. We left Thursday afternoon for an early Christmas celebration with my in-laws, in anticipation of nasty weather headed into Shreveport that evening and into Friday morning. What we weren't expecting was getting caught right in the middle of the bad stuff the closer we got to our destination.
The hazardous driving conditions really started around 7 or 8 Thursday night, when freezing rain and sleet accumulated on the roadways and froze. We played slip-and-slide with a few icy patches on I-20 and I don't think our speed broke 40 the rest of the way to my in-laws' house (keep in mind, the speed limit is 75 through much of that area). What usually is a 4-hour trip took us an extra two or three.
We made it safely to Fort Worth, but by Friday morning, we were looking at a sheet of ice blanketing the entire neighborhood. The good thing about that was that my 5-year-old daughter and I got to go sledding for the first time ever. And we saw two guys in the subdivision skiing behind a pick-up truck. The bad part was that it was so cold, we both had to wear every protective layer of clothing we had just to keep from freezing.
My husband and his dad ended up having to go pick up my sister-in-law from work that day. She lives in Denton and works 30 minutes away from her house. They left right after breakfast, and didn't get back home until after 6 p.m. My father-in-law's trip back to pick her up and take her home was a five- or six-hour ordeal.
Most of our Saturday was spent indoors. It was just too cold to do much. And the ice that was more powdery the day before froze over, leaving sidewalks, yards and streets slippery. Weather reporters talked about "cobblestone ice," which I'd never heard of before. And there was some freezing fog early Sunday morning, as well, making driving treacherous.
We monitored the weather conditions throughout the region before deciding to head back home Sunday after lunch. By then, it had warmed up quite a bit, and the ice started to melt. There were some snow flurries that morning, but they didn't last long.
TX-DOT had plows out scraping the mess off the roads. It was still a nasty drive, though. We almost got sideswiped by an 18-wheeler on a bridge over I-35. Fortunately, it didn't hit us, nor did we hit the guardrail we were dangerously close to impacting.
A stop at a Pilot gas station was required on the way out, and clerks there were telling customers they were very low on fuel, and didn't expect the trucks to arrive until the next morning. In the meantime, roadways all over the area were big rig parking lots. The 18-wheelers were parked all up and down the highway.
After spending most of the afternoon driving, and encountering several icy sections on Interstates 35 and 20, we made it back to Shreveport-Bossier (safely) at around 7 or 8 Sunday evening. It was an interesting trip, to say the least. It's good to be home!
Take a look at some of the photos from the trip: