Interstate 20 Open Now -- Shut Down Earlier Because of Ice - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

02/26/03 - Kaufman County

Interstate 20 Open Now -- Shut Down Earlier Because of Ice

The ice storm not only cut off lights in homes, it's also darkened headlights on highways. Tuesday night, I-20 between East Texas and Dallas became a parking lot. Hundreds of travelers were forced to seek shelter from the cold.

Joe Beran woke up Wednesday morning in the parking lot of the Home Depot in Terrell. He was on his way to Arizona before becoming frozen in his tracks. "We started to slow down and then we saw the back up. It took us 6 and 3/4 hours to come the last 19 miles."

I-20 between Kauffman County and Dallas was closed overnight. By nine Wednesday morning, a few brave trucks began to test the conditions. Others, like Beran, decided to wait out the artic freeze until later in the day. "I think the truckers need to get out of the way and get about their business, and then we'll follow up behind them."

So many people were stranded on the ice, the Red Cross set up an emergency shelter at a local elementary school. Larry Dodd and his wife got stuck in East Texas traveling from L.A. to Chicago. "The Red Cross is tremendous. We wouldn't have had no place to go. And, I'm not for one to sleep in my car."

So most people remained parked, either at the shelter, or at the outlet mall. Because even for those willing to hit the road, there are no guarantees.

I-20 is now open, but TXDOT is warning of major delays because of ice still left on the road. To stay up to date on road conditions, you can call the TXDOT Hotline at 1-800-452-9292. Or, you can go to KLTV.com just click on the Weather link. There, you'll find an icon for the "Latest Road Conditions from TXDOT" at the top of the page.

Stephen parr, reporting.

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