DALLAS (AP) — Steven Oliver wasn't sure Tuesday how soon he would get to Amarillo. He just knew it wouldn't be by morning.
The unemployed truck driver got caught up in a cold snap that brought snow, ice and freezing rain to northern parts of Texas, canceling bus routes and plane flights and triggering 22 accidents in just eight hours in the Wichita Falls area.
Oliver was holed up in Greyhound Lines Inc.'s downtown Dallas station after his trip to the Panhandle was canceled. He spent Monday night on a bus provided by the company and planned to do the same Tuesday. He thought it might be Thursday before he got to his cousin's house in Amarillo and started another job search.
"I've got no place else to go," said the 42-year-old Oliver, who was on his way from Houston, where he visited his children after giving up his Missouri-based trucking job. "I'm just going to hang out."
Abby Wambaugh, a spokeswoman for Dallas-based Greyhound, said the service interruption was fairly typical for this time of year, as was the choice to let passengers sleep in buses when stranded overnight. Those accommodations would be available as long as needed, she said.
"At this point in time, we'll just continue to monitor the weather, and when we feel it's safe to put them back on the road, we'll put them back on the road," Wambaugh said.
About 30 Greyhound routes were canceled Tuesday afternoon, mostly in the Midwest, while Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport spokesman Ken Capps said about 140 of the 900 daily flights had been canceled.
The culprit was a cold front that sent temperatures plunging below freezing as Tuesday wore on. Forecasters said they were expecting about a quarter-inch of ice accumulation in the Dallas-Fort Worth area later in the day, leaving the prospect of a tough Wednesday morning commute before temperatures reach the 40s by afternoon.
"If you don't have to travel, it's better to not," said Tara Dudzik, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Fort Worth.
The wintry precipitation was moving out of the Panhandle by late Tuesday afternoon, leaving behind snow accumulations of up to 3 inches, said Chris Nuttall of the National Weather Service in Amarillo. Nuttall said Amarillo was expecting an overnight low of 14, but the warmup Wednesday could be all the way into the 50s.
Police in Wichita Falls blamed the 22 accidents that injured three people on the falling temperatures and dangerous road conditions. Sgt. Danny Wiggins said the injured were taken to a hospital.
"We've been getting steady rain that's freezing," Wiggins said.
D-FW Airport's Capps said in an e-mail that deicing machines had been in use since 6 a.m. Tuesday. By mid-afternoon, all runways and airport roads were still open and there were no reports of delays, Capps said. He added that the airport was monitoring conditions from Oklahoma to Maine, where wintry weather could delay or cancel inbound flights.
Capps said the airport was considering keeping concessions and other services running all night.
"This is one of these days when we all work together to try to make things as comfortable and convenient as possible, knowing it's never fun to be stuck at an airport," Capps said.
A FedEx cargo plane crashed while trying to land in a freezing mist in Lubbock on Tuesday morning, but officials weren't immediately blaming the weather. The ATR-42 twin-turboprop aircraft was arriving from Fort Worth Alliance Airport when it came up about 300 feet short of a runway at Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport, officials said. The pilots were treated and released from a hospital.
Associated Press writer Regina L. Burns contributed to this report.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.