Six people injured at Cowboys stadium due to snow falling - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Six people injured at Cowboys stadium due to snow falling

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Six people were injured as a result of snow and ice falling off Cowboys Stadium on Friday, Super Bowl officials said.

The Arlington Fire Department found the people at 1:15 p.m. CT, and all were taken by ambulance to local hospitals.

Two of the people are still hospitalized in stable condition, and officials characterized injuries to the others as non-life threatening.

The area where the ice and snow fell has been cordoned off.

"All stadium entrances have been closed except for the truck tunnel, which is away from the building by a very safe distance," NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy said in an e-mail. "All workers and visitors will now enter and exit through the tunnel until further notice."

Super Bowl safety committee official Arnie Valdez had said Friday afternoon that one person had been critically injured.

Another blast of winter weather slammed Dallas with up to 5 inches of snow Friday, making driving hazardous and forcing the cancellation of hundreds of flights as tens of thousands of football fans descended on North Texas for the Super Bowl.

The latest punch of unusual cold and snow hit a city still struggling to recover from Tuesday's ice storm, part of a massive system that paralyzed a large swath of the country with blizzards, thundersnow and bone-chilling temperatures this week.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning Friday for Arlington, home of the $1.3 billion Cowboys Stadium where the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers will play this weekend for the NFL title. Forecasters expect a mostly sunny Super Bowl Sunday with highs in the 40s, and organizers said last week that the stadium's retractable roof will be closed.

The weather was causing travel problems for die-hard fans on Friday, expected to be the busiest day for travel to the Dallas area ahead of the game.

American Airlines and its affiliate, American Eagle, cancelled more than 300 flights that were supposed to land at its main hub, Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Love Field, home to Southwest Airlines, was closed down before dawn because of snow on the runways before reopening to commercial and private flights by noon.

Along with the fresh layer of snow, forecasters expect the subfreezing temperatures that hit the area Tuesday morning to linger through Saturday. The weather won't warm up long enough to melt all the snow and ice before kickoff, said Amber Elliott of the National Weather Service.

Snow and slush-covered roads across the city were making driving hazardous for locals and visitors alike, and the Texas Department of Transportation said keeping them clear was an ongoing slog, with crews working all night to improve safety.

"It was a challenge to keep up when the snow kept coming this morning," said spokeswoman Jodi Hodges. "We're definitely going to have to go back over the highways we plowed."

Dallas was feeling the chill with the mercury resting at about 20 degrees Friday, forcing organizers of at least one celebrity-filled Super Bowl event to move their Saturday celebrations inside. One hotel gift shop was selling ski hats and scarves alongside the usual cowboy hats.

American Airlines said it is doing all it can to ensure football fans make it to Dallas, regardless of the weather. American Airlines spokesman Tim Smith said the carrier added 12 extra flights from Pittsburgh and airports near Green Bay for people coming to the game.

"We are putting extra effort to operate our flights in from Chicago today to keep the Super Bowl-oriented traffic moving," he said.

Neighboring Oklahoma, still recovering from up to 20 inches of snow earlier this week, braced for yet more. National Weather Service meteorologist Cheryl Sharp in Norman said snow began falling about 2:30 a.m. Friday and total accumulation could reach three to four inches in southeastern Oklahoma. Roads in the area are slick and yet more snow was forecast for Sunday.

Freezing rain meanwhile coated roads in North Dakota, leading to dozens of accidents. Rain and sleet also caused havoc further south, making roads across Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi slick and leading to at least five fatal traffic accidents.

In Milwaukee, where there was nary a single cloud in the sunny skies over Mitchell International Airport on Friday, Packers fans found themselves delayed.

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