It is not the stock show’s first rodeo, nor its first time dealing with winter weather.

“When you have an event in January and February in Fort Worth, Texas, you’re going to occasionally encounter ice or snow. That’s just the fact of life.” Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo Communications Director Matt Brockman said. We’ve been holding the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo now for 126 years. (The weather) today isn’t unlike a similar day we had actually the same week, probably the same day last year.”

An icy freeze formed all over Fort Worth starting Jan. 30 and intensifying the following day,  delaying city government, closing businesses, canceling flights and shutting down schools. The cold blast is expected to continue until at least the afternoon of Feb. 2. 

Brockman said that crews were putting sand on sidewalks and roads and that the stock show and the city were working closely together to keep the grounds safe and accessible to guests.

“Our facilities were designed and constructed to accommodate a lot of livestock, whether that weather is 70 and balmy or in the 20s with some ice on the ground,” he said. “We’re moving our junior steers in this morning. Our junior barrows moved in yesterday, so those shows and preparations for those shows are both well underway. We’re not expecting any challenges or difficulties. Everything’s in place and moving forward.”

As of Jan. 31, all stock show events were going forward as planned. If anything does change, those updates will be noted on the stock show’s website.

The storm arrives with a bang

A winter storm warning will remain in effect through at least 6 a.m. Feb. 2. The National Weather Service anticipates total ice or sleet accumulations between .25 inches and .5 inches, with bursts of heavier sleet closer to one inch in some areas. 

Officials urged residents to stay home unless they have an emergency because of the icy road conditions that made some bridges, overpasses and roads impassable. 

As of 5 a.m. Jan. 31 — 24 hours into the storm and before thunderstorms hit most of North Texas — MedStar ambulances in the Fort Worth area already had responded to 142 motor vehicle collisions, eight hypothermia patients and nine patients injured in falls from slipping on ice. 

Sarah Barnes, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Dallas-Fort Worth forecasting office, expects the region to remain clear of storms until Wednesday morning, when another round of freezing rain is expected in the morning and midday. Once that clears across the Metroplex, more rain is expected Thursday, she said. 

The National Weather Service will push out forecast updates through social media and winter weather alerts. Drivers can check road condition updates at

Local government

The city of Fort Worth paused services like trash collection while warming centers and emergency lines opened in response to the storm. 

Residents may sign up for emergency alerts here. The service keeps residents informed about potential hazards. 

Because of the ongoing winter storm, all Tarrant County governmental buildings will be closed Feb. 1. 

“I urge everyone to stay home, take appropriate precautions and only travel when necessary,” said Tarrant County Judge Tim O’Hare. “Tarrant County will continue to monitor this weather event and take appropriate action as needed.” 

To request service or report issues 

You may report water main breaks or other issues to the city in a variety of ways: 

  • Through the MyFW app
  • The city’s website
  • Through the city call center: 817-392-1234
  • Through the water utility call center: 817-392-4477

Waste collection 

Waste collection was canceled for Wednesday; the service will resume the following Wednesday, Feb. 8. Residents are allowed four additional bags next to the garbage cart for collection. 

If your garbage did not get collected Jan. 30 or Jan. 31, it will be collected Feb. 6 or Feb. 7. Residents will also be allowed four additional bags. 

The four drop-off stations and the Environmental Collection Center also will be closed. There will be no yard waste collections through Feb. 12.

Water utilities

The city’s water utility also ramps up during extreme weather events. The water department is standing by to respond to any incident that could hurt the city’s ability to deliver water to residents. The city’s response was updated after several water treatment facilities went down during Winter Storm Uri in 2021. 

If you notice a broken water main or burst pipe, you should call 817-392-4477. The city will either repair the main or shut off water to your home to prevent damage from the burst pipe. 

Residents who live in apartments and don’t have water should contact apartment management because the issue might be private plumbing lines. 

Here’s where you can get warm

Community centers will be open as warming centers Wednesday. However, the city does not have an updated list of what community centers and libraries will remain open. The city urges residents to call their nearby centers and libraries to ensure their location is open. 

The city’s emergency homeless shelter is activated. The Flag Building, 1100 E. Lancaster Ave., is open. People without housing should go there to seek shelter from the storm. 

Want text alerts about cold-weather shelters?

To receive text alerts about Fort Worth cold-weather shelters, text FWCOLD to 817-241-3544.

To receive text alerts about Arlington cold-weather shelters, text ARLCOLD to 817-241-3544.

For more information about shelters in Tarrant County, visit the Tarrant County Homeless Coalition’s website.

Other city services closed 

Library locations are closed until further notice. Several neighborhood services workshops have been rescheduled. The Homeowners Workshop scheduled for MLK Community Center has been rescheduled to Feb. 7. Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites also are closed.

North Animal Campus and Silcox Adoption Center is closed and will remain so through Wednesday. You may report pets in distress through the MyFW app or the city’s call center: 817-392-1234.

Fort Worth municipal court in-person dockets on Wednesday and Thursday will be canceled and rescheduled for a future date. TEXpress lanes are closed until further notice.

What will remain open? 

North Animal Campus and Silcox Adoption Center will be open and operating as usual. You may report pets in distress through the MyFW app or the city’s call center: 817-392-1234.

As of 10 a.m. Jan. 31, all Trinity Metro bus services were operating on a modified schedule. Trinity Metro TEXRail and Trinity Railway Express (TRE) were operating on regular weekday schedules. 

Development-related services will remain available virtually through Wednesday. In-person services will resume at 8 a.m. Thursday.

Food bank closes

The Tarrant Area Food Bank is closed because of the road conditions, Julie Butner, president of the food bank, said. On a typical day, the food bank operates 18 vehicles to distribute to about 500 partners across the 13 counties the organization serves. 

Stopping operations is a business decision to keep employees safe, Butner said. Many people who use the food bank get food ahead of time when expecting severe weather, she said. 

“If you are anticipating inclement weather, you get to the grocery store, you get enough groceries to last you for the days that you’re anticipating the inclement weather is going to keep you homebound,” Butner said. “Our community members that utilize our services handle inclement weather very much in the same way.” 

Butner also said they work with partner organizations to distribute food early. She anticipates the food bank will reopen on Thursday, and follows weather and school districts for updates to make a decision. 

Ice keeps people grounded

As of Jan. 31, more than 1,600 flights were canceled flying to and from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, according to the flight tracking website, At Dallas Love Field Airport, 600 flights to and from the airport were canceled. 

American Airlines canceled 883 flights between Jan. 30-31, wrote Gianna Urgo, a spokesperson for the company, in an email to the Fort Worth Report. Most flights were canceled in advance to avoid last-minute disruptions, Urgo wrote. 

The Federal Aviation Administration issued a ground stop by request of American Airlines. 

Both Southwest Airlines, based in Dallas, and American Airlines in Fort Worth issued travel advisories for those traveling through Dallas and Fort Worth with information on how to rebook flights. 

Businesses on ice 

Renfro Foods, located at 815 Stella St., typically produces several thousand jars of salsa weekly. Its production plan for the week originally called for the company to do most of its production Tuesday and Wednesday. Looking at the weather reports, company officials quickly decided to move that production to Thursday and Friday. 

Part of that decision was driven by the fact that its glass bottle supplier couldn’t guarantee the truck with the glass jars could make it, said Doug Renfro, president of the 83-year-old family-owned salsa manufacturer. 

“That helped our decision-making process because we can’t fill the salsa into little Ziploc baggies,” he said. 

Renfro Foods typically follows whatever the Fort Worth Independent School District says when the weather is bad. “Thankfully, around dinnertime last night (Monday), they said they definitely were not having class tomorrow,” he said. 

Renfro was pleased that the weather forecasters were on the mark this time. 

“What messes us up is when it comes out of nowhere or we hunker down and then nothing happens and you lose productivity for no reason,” he said. “It feels good for once to be like, ‘Yep, we made the right decision.’ “

Kristen Barton, Rachel Behrndt, Seth Bodine, Marcheta Fornoff, Bob Francis and Haley Samsel contributed to this report.

At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here. 

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