On This Day...Dec 31, 1978 2000

On This Day....

December 31, 2000

Snow fell across much of North Texas during the day, with scattered 1-3 inch accumulations.

December 30-31, 1978

One of the worst ice storms in 30 years continued early in the morning over much of North Texas. 

One to two inch accumulations of ice and sleet resulted in moderate to heavy damage in a 100 mile wide swath from near Gatesville northeast to the Red River near Paris. Lighter damage occurred throughout the remainder of North Central Texas and the western portion of Northeast Texas.

The most severe damage seemed to be centered in Dallas County. Trees and power lines began breaking in the Dallas County area between 2:30 am and 4:30 am on the 31st, due to the stress from ice accumulation and the brisk northerly wind. Up to 300,000 people in Dallas County were without electricity on the 31st and the 1st and in some places power was not restored until 10 days later. In Duncanville, 90% of the residences were without electricity. Power was not completely restored until January 2nd. In Irving, approximately 10,000 families were without power and 300 phones were out. Dallas Power and Light Company used 200 crews and about $3 million in repairing the damage. Over 4,000 residents reported broken water pipes with almost 100 breaks in the street mains. 

The total damage estimate for Dallas County was about $14 million. One young boy in Dallas County was killed when he touched a downed electrical line. At least 5 indirect storm deaths could be attributed to the ice-related automobile accidents in North Texas. 

View Ice Storm Dec 30-31, 1978 in a larger map
Map of Hardest Hit Areas Based Upon Storm Data Narrative

Approximately 2,000 North Texans were treated at area hospitals for frost bite, accidents, and falls on the slippery ice. Several hundred were hospitalized with broken bones.

Other counties reporting scattered heavy damage included Hamilton, McLennan, Ellis, Navarro, Tarrant, Rockwall, Denton, Fannin, Lamar, and Hopkins. In these surrounding counties, tree and power line damage was common, with tree loss described as the greatest within 30 years. Many roads were blocked because of fallen trees and abandoned vehicles. Many residents were without power or heat for anywhere from a few hours to several days. 2

2 Storm Data December 1978 Volume 20 Number 12

Return to Latest News

USA.gov is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.
  • National Weather Service
  • Dallas/Fort Worth, TX Weather Forecast Office
  • 3401 Northern Cross Blvd.
  • Fort Worth, TX 76137
  • 817.429.2631
  • Page Author: FWD Webmaster
  • Web Master's E-mail: sr-fwd.webmaster@noaa.gov
  • Page last modified: 23-Apr-2015 7:10 PM UTC