Gradual warm-up expected

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David Minton/DRC
Wells Fargo maintenance man Mike Wilbur clears ice from the sidewalk on the north side of the Wells Fargo building, which has stayed in the shadows all day, Wednesday in Denton.

After a nasty couple of days of winter snow and ice, the forecast is looking up for Denton County.

National Weather Service meteorologists are expecting a gradual warm-up — temperatures in the mid-40s today, the upper-40s on Friday and little chance for more rain.

“We don’t really have much headed for us, just kind of cool for the weekend,” said meteorologist Jason Dunn.

Dunn said the warmer temperatures should take care of a lot of the ice on the roads and that he expected a great deal of it to be gone by today.

On Wednesday, most of the roads throughout the region, including Dallas, Collin and Denton counties, were said to be fairly clear and dry, according to Mark Pettit, spokesman for the Texas Department of Transportation.

Runoff from the slopes and broken sprinkler systems were causing some areas of the roadways to remain icy, he said.

For the Dallas district, including Denton County, 268 trucks were sent out to help with the icy roads.

TxDOT will continue to monitor and dispatch crews when needed, Pettit said.

County Commissioner Andy Eads said crews were working through the night in the western portion of Denton County, sanding bridges and winding, hilly roads, such as Copper Canyon Road, that are highly traveled.

County Commissioner Hugh Coleman said some rural roads were closed in north Denton County on Wednesday. New and continued road closures will likely be determined this morning, Coleman said.

“Typically, what happens is we don’t really salt or sand the roads, but we close down the roads we know are bad and the low-water crossings.”

He encouraged people to be careful.

Denton County Transportation Authority buses were running slightly behind schedule Wednesday, while A-train service ran on time.

“We had crews out pretty much all during the night making sure the switches did not freeze up. That is what would really impact train service,” said Dee Leggett, vice president of communications and planning. “Once the road conditions improve, buses will likely recover and get back on schedule.”

The weather slowed business to local retailers Wednesday morning but soon after the ice began to melt, the stores were busy with customers shopping  for clearance items, redeeming gift cards and making exchanges and returns.

Golden Triangle Mall decided to open at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

“If we would have opened at 11 a.m., we would have been fine,” said Matt Ludemann, mall manager.

The day started off slow but once the roads cleared up, the mall was as busy as expected, he said.

Farther down Loop 288, Target and Walmart also had a slower morning, but business picked up in the afternoon.

“It did start off slower than normal with the ice this morning, although I had a few brave souls,” said John Vinson, manager of Target.

Tony Quintero, manager of Walmart, said once the sun came out, people were ready to redeem their gift cards and shop for the store’s clearance items.

Staff writer Rachel Melhaff contributed to this report.

BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6889. His e-mail address is blewis@dentonrc.com.


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