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Travel has been a nightmare along the East Coast today. Thick blankets of snow have snarled roads, closed schools and government offices and delayed thousands of flights. In north Texas, the ice storm from last weekend is still causing trouble. Most highways are clear but a stubborn storm remnant called cobblestone ice has cropped up. It's causing problems on interstate bridges, overpasses and off-ramps. Stella Chavez of member station KERA in Dallas reports.
STELLA CHAVEZ, BYLINE: This is what driving over cobblestone ice sounds like. This mix of chunky ice and sand that's frozen and unfrozen and frozen again makes it feel like you're driving over a cobblestone street. But these are deep, frozen ruts and it's super jarring. Many truckers, like Eduardo Ruvacalba, try to avoid it as much as possible.
EDUARDO RUVACALBA: It's not pretty. There was a coach bus that lost a tire because, I mean, it just was - it was getting beat up so bad. All the truckers have - that's what they've been complaining, you know, that our equipment is taking a beating over this.
CHAVEZ: The cobblestone ice is a combination of accumulating ice and sand that's been put down to break it up. Traffic compresses the mixture and it turns into these deep potholes. It's been difficult for transportation officials to break up the icy mess. Jon Gandelman's been driving trucks for 15 years and says he's used to winter storms. Usually, he tries to plow through but these road conditions are another story. He arrived in Texas after being stuck in Oklahoma for a couple of days.
JON GANDELMAN: A lot of sitting, a lot of ice. I'm from California and we chain up all the time to go across the mountain passes. That's just snow. When it's ice like this, you don't go anywhere.
CHAVEZ: And not going anywhere means goods weren't delivered on time. Many grocery stores ran out of milk, bread and produce ahead of the ice and have been slow to restock. At another truck stop in Denton, Franchester Smith had been trapped for a day and said she'd had enough. Before last weekend, she'd never heard of freezing fog but the worst, she says, is cobblestone ice.
FRANCHESTER SMITH: You got all these dents and it just makes it really bad. Where you would think it was a pothole but it's not. It's all the ice and snow that froze over and you're rolling over it, rolling over it.
CHAVEZ: There's been a bit of good news today. Some of the trapped truckers have been able to depart. But even though the weather has improved during the day, temperatures plummet at night, starting the freezing process all over again. For NPR News, I'm Stella Chavez in Dallas.
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