Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 1, 2006 -- Update #3
OKLAHOMA CONTINUES TO FEEL EFFECTS OF MAJOR WINTER STORM
The State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) continues to support state and local response efforts related to the winter weather system that moved through Oklahoma Wednesday and Thursday. All Oklahoma state agencies are closed as are many schools and businesses.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol continues to work numerous wrecks throughout the state. Troopers continue to discourage travel on Oklahoma roadways.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) reports highway conditions across the state remained slick and hazardous throughout the early morning hours. No highways are reported closed at this time due to snow and ice conditions. ODOT crews worked through the night to remove accumulations of snow from the state's highways which remain covered with ice. Crews continue to apply a sand and salt mixture to the highways in order to deal with the ice. Sunlight is expected to greatly improve roads throughout the day. Travel is discouraged. If you must travel the state's highways, allow plenty of time, drive cautiously and stay at least 200 feet behind ODOT crews. Additionally, flooding was a problem in Latimer County where State Highway 82 had to be temporarily closed three miles south of Red Oak.
The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority reports the Turner, Will Rogers and Cimarron turnpikes are now open with one lane passable in each direction. During the night all were closed, causing OEM to deploy Oklahoma National Guard personnel in Humvees to locate and assist any stranded motorists.
On the Cimarron Turnpike two motorists were able to continue driving after being pulled from the snow. On the Turner Turnpike the Guard transported eight stranded motorists to the Chandler Armory, which was opened as a shelter through the night. Two other motorists were transported to the armory by the Lincoln County Sheriff?s Office. Additionally, the National Guard made a sweep of the Will Rogers Turnpike, offering assistance to any stranded motorists. At this time, all motorists have been returned to their vehicles and assisted on their way. The Chandler Armory is now closed.
For Oklahoma road conditions, call 888-425-2385. For road conditions in surrounding states call: Arkansas 800-245-1672; Colorado 303-639-1111; Kansas 886-511-5368; Missouri 800-222-6400; New Mexico 800-432-4269; and, Texas 888-425-2385.
The National Weather Service, Tulsa Office, is calling this an historic winter storm for Northeast Oklahoma. At Tulsa International Airport 10.4 inches of sleet and snow was measured. This single storm has exceeded the annual normal snowfall for Tulsa of 9.1 inches. Additional snowfall records for Northeast Oklahoma include: 15 inches in Bartlesville; 9 inches in Bristow; 6 inches in Bixby; and, 12 inches in Nowata.
The National Weather Service, Norman Office, reports heavy snow, combined with strong winds, led to near blizzard conditions across parts of Central and Northern Oklahoma. Widespread snowfall amounts of 3 to 8 inches were reported, with a few locations in north central Oklahoma reporting 8 to 13 inches of snow. Drifts as high as 2 to 3 feet were also reported. The 4.1 inches of snow at Will Rogers Airport in Oklahoma City set a new snowfall record for the date.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) reports no significant electric power outages at this time. OCC reports that natural gas service is predicted to be reconnected in Arnett this evening. Service to the Ellis County town was disrupted Thursday after an Oklahoma Natural Gas line was cut as city workers repaired a water main. About 500 residents were affected by this service disruption. ONG is bringing in employees from surrounding areas to assist with the repair. There are no reports of phone service outages at this time.
Oklahoma City?s Will Rogers Airport experienced a power outage from about 9:45 p.m. Thursday to 5:15 a.m. today. Electric service is now restored to the airport. Some flights have been canceled due to weather conditions in other parts of the country. Today, flight schedules should begin to return to normal at the airport.
l Mayes County Emergency Management reports that personnel responded to a house fire at the request of the American Red Cross, a motor coach with 35 passengers stranded on the highway, and gave road reports to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. Amateur radio operators collected snow reports around the county and relayed them to the National Weather Service.
l McIntosh County Emergency Management reports approximately three inches of snow over about .50 inches of ice. No reports of power outages or phone trouble. I-40, State Highways 69 and 9 are slick but improving. Numerous accidents reported Thursday, very few with minor injuries. All of the city halls and the McIntosh County Court House are closed today. The EOC remains activated.