UPDATE 5-Ice storm hits parts of Texas, canceling flights, crippling traffic

Tue Feb 24, 2015 12:19am EST
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(Adds plane skidding off taxiway)

By Lisa Maria Garza

DALLAS Feb 23 (Reuters) - An ice storm battered parts of Texas on Monday, cutting off power to thousands of homes and leading to hundreds of traffic accidents and more than 1,500 airline flight cancellations.

The storm, packing high winds and freezing rain, coated highways with sheets of ice, and authorities advised commuters to stay off the roads. The cold was expected to last another day, keeping road surfaces slick.

Snow and freezing rain fell in parts of New Mexico and Colorado, while Utah and northern Arizona were also under winter storm warnings, the weather service said.

At Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, one of the busiest in the United States and a hub for American Airlines, nearly 1,100 flights were canceled by Monday afternoon, according to tracking service FlightAware.com.

At Love Field in Dallas, a major airport for Southwest Airlines, more than 100 flights were canceled, it said.

On Monday night, an American Airlines plane slid off a taxiway at Dallas/Fort Worth due to the icy conditions, though none of the 63 passengers or five crew members aboard were injured, an airline spokeswoman said.

In Tennessee, at least 22 people have been killed in the past few days because of icy winter conditions, the state's Emergency Management Agency said.   Continued...