Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12-9-07, 10:30 a.m.
WINTER STORM DELIVERS POWER OUTAGES TO STATE
The National Weather Service has issued an Ice Storm Warning for Central Oklahoma through this afternoon. Currently there is a winter storm watch for much of Oklahoma. The winter storm watch will likely be discontinued and the ice storm warning continued and expanded later today.
Latest model data indicates that temperatures are much colder than expected. In some areas freezing rain is accompanied by thunder and lightning. As such, warming will be slower to take place and any further precipitation later today into Monday will be freezing rain.
OG&E reports 6,943 power outages statewide, including:
Oklahoma City, West 1,076
Oklahoma City, North 63
Midwest City 202
The Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives reports Central Rural Electric Cooperative (CREC), located in Stillwater, reports minimal outages, with only a few scattered outages (less than 10) in the Chandler area, which is in the southern part of the CREC service area.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) reports many crashes, especially in the western half of the state, where roads are slick and hazardous, bridges are icy and slick. Travel is discouraged. If they must travel, motorists are reminded to slow down, increase distance between theirs and the next vehicle, and wear their seatbelts.
OHP is currently working a fatality crash on Highway 66 just east of Banner.
They are also working an injury accident involving a semi at I-40 east bound 1 mile west of US 77 where the inside lane of the interstate is shut down and will be for sometime due to cleanup of diesel fuel.
A jackknifed semi has traffic diverted on I-40 westbound near mile marker 176.
OHP has worked more than 20 crashes since last night; there have been many more where drivers exchanged information on their own.
Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) reports all crews statewide (with the exception of southeastern Oklahoma) are out clearing roadways due to slick and hazardous conditions. Temperatures remain below freezing as precipitation persists. Crews will continue applying materials on all highways and interstates statewide. Westbound I-40 west of Canadian County, travelers are encouraged to slow down due to several reports of slick spots. Eastbound I-40 east of the Oklahoma City metro near Shawnee is experiencing major slowdowns due to the clearing of a multi-vehicle accident near SH-102. In the Tulsa and Oklahoma City metro areas, crews are continuing the 24-hour clearing that started late Saturday night. Several slick spots are reported in those metro areas and drivers are encouraged to allow plenty of time if they must travel, be patient and remain at least 200 feet away from trucks clearing the road.
Oklahoma City Emergency Management reports OKC Public Works currently has 12 salt trucks in service spreading salt on slick areas. Later this afternoon (when conditions are expected to worsen) OKC Public Works will have additional personnel on duty and 30 salt trucks working the streets.
Miami Emergency Management reports power outages and tree damage all around Ottawa County. Approximately one-half inch ice accumulation in the area and the Miami Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is on generator power at this time. EOC staff is working with American Red Cross to open up warming shelters.