The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

National and world

December 7, 2013

Snow, ice, deep-freeze hit large swath of U.S.

(Continued)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. —

Texas Department of Transportation spokeswoman Michelle Releford said road graders and more sand and salt trucks were being sent to try to ease the ice problems.

"We're sending in everything we've got," said Releford.

About 75,000 customers in the Dallas area were without power Saturday, down from a peak of more than 270,000. Oklahoma utilities reported more than 7,500 power outages across the state and western Arkansas.

Some 400 departing flights from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport were canceled, about half of the usual schedule, the airport said. About 3,330 passengers had stayed overnight in the terminals.

Among those stranded in Dallas was Narasimhan Rangarajan of Chennai, India, who was on his way to see his brother in Salt Lake City, Utah.

He laughed that his vacation had been "not so good so far." He said he hoped his flight Saturday night to Salt Lake City would take off.

Freezing rain and sleet are likely again Saturday night in Memphis, Nashville and other areas of Tennessee before the storm starts surging northeast.

"It looks like we're going to be stuck with this for one, two, maybe three days," said Memphis attorney Sam Chafetz, who was going home early to enjoy some bourbon-soaked sweet potatoes left over from Thanksgiving.

"I'm not afraid of the ice and snow, I'm afraid of the other drivers who don't know how to drive in it," Chafetz said.

In Virginia, state Emergency Management spokeswoman Laura Southard said the storm had the potential to be a "historic ice event."

"This forecast is very concerning to us," Southard said Saturday. "I've worked multiple disasters, but I've never worked an ice storm with a forecast like this. It's just really important for everybody to take extra precautions."

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