Roads remain hazardous today as dangerously low temperatures continue to make travel risky across the state.
Single-digit lows and below-zero wind chills overnight turned snow-packed streets into slick, icy and bumpy surfaces.
In Oklahoma City, most interstates and highways are passable, but many ramps and intersections remain to be cleared, according to the state Transportation Department.
“The main roads are better, but residential ones are absolutely horrendous with lots of redrifting,” said Tony McCarty, supervisor for Emergency Medical Services Authority in Oklahoma City.
State Highway 152 between El Reno and Yukon remained closed this afternoon because of high snowdrifts, ODOT reported. State Highway 270 is closed between Calumet and Geary.
Highways in western Oklahoma were slick only in spots, and road-clearing crews in that part of the state have been moved to eastern Oklahoma to deal with snow-packed and icy roads there, ODOT reported.
The Will Rogers Turnpike, the section of Interstate 44 between Tulsa and the Missouri state line, remained closed this afternoon and could remain closed for some time, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported.
Officials warned that roads should be considered hazardous statewide and that conditions can change rapidly.
Ambulance drivers, police officers and firefighters in Oklahoma City have continued to struggle today in residential areas. Tow truck drivers continue to be in high demand.
The majority of emergency calls since the blizzard hit have been from people suffering from heart trouble or shortness of breath, McCarty said. There was one serious hypothermia case. A homeless man in his 60s found at a downtown bus stop was taken to St. Anthony Hospital on Tuesday, McCarty said. About 10 people were hurt falling down, he said.
Driveways of many homes are covered in snowdrifts, he said, so getting out of the neighborhood could be a challenge for anyone headed to work.
Schools and businesses remain closed today across the state. State troopers and National Guard soldiers have been checking highways and interstates and other roads for any stranded motorists.
Muskogee Deputy Chief Johnny Teehee said his department was able to keep up only because two car dealerships loaned four-wheel drive vehicles to the police.
“There's so much snow, the cars don't have the clearance to get around,” Teehee said Tuesday. “Because we have the use of the four-wheel drives graciously donated to us, it's given us the ability to serve the community.”
Riverside Autoplex loaned the department two four-wheel drive vehicles and James Hodge Ford loaned six.
Teehee said police are grateful for the loaned vehicles, but encourage people to stay at home if at all possible.
“It's amazing people are still trying to get out in this,” Teehee said. “One lady told an officer that assisted her she got out because she needed a cup of coffee. That is ridiculous.”
In Tulsa and northeastern Oklahoma, roads may have only one open lane. As plowing operations remove snow from the inside lanes to the outside shoulders, extreme caution should be used on ramps.
Abandoned vehicles have been found throughout the state. Drivers who left their vehicles during the storm should contact law enforcement agencies about vehicle recovery.
In the next few days, motorists are asked to follow these tips:
• Check road conditions before getting out.
• Stay at least 200 feet behind road-clearing equipment; crews need room to maneuver and can engage plowing or spreading materials without notice.
Drivers should check with the Department of Public Safety's road conditions hotline at (888) 425-2385 for current road conditions.
Contributing: McClatchy-Tribune Information Services