Death toll from winter storm up to at least 5 in Oklahoma

BY MICHAEL KIMBALL Modified: December 25, 2009 at 8:45 pm •  Published: December 25, 2009

Weather service and Oklahoma Mesonet stations in the Oklahoma City area all reached at least 34 degrees today. The weather service stations at Will Rogers and Wiley Post airports and Mesonet stations in north and west Oklahoma City topped out at 37 degrees. Only a handful of stations in northeastern and northwestern Oklahoma recorded high temperatures at or below freezing.

Direct sunlight can still melt snow even when temperatures are near or below freezing, meteorologist Andrew Taylor said. The dry conditions should also allow sublimation, which is similar to evaporation of liquid water.

One runway open at Will Rogers

Will Rogers World Airport, which shut down Thursday afternoon, has re-opened with one runway operational, city airports director Mark Kranenburg said today.

Many flights remain delayed or canceled because few aircraft were able to make it to Oklahoma City by this morning, Kranenburg said.

Travelers are discouraged from coming to the airport without first checking with their airline.

Officials removed many vehicles from Meridian Avenue and Terminal Drive today and towed them to a nearby gravel lot, Kranenburg said. The cars had to be moved to make it easier for plows to clear the roads so emergency personnel, airport workers and travelers could make it to the airport.

Power slowly coming back on for many

The state Corporation Commission reported about 4,000 utility customers were without electricity late this afternoon, but the number included more than 2,000 Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. customers in the Oklahoma City area. The number of OG&E customers without power dwindled to about 730.

More than 5,000 metro OG&E customers had been without power Thursday evening and more than 3,000 still had no power this morning.

Only about 140 Lawton-area residents remained without power late this afternoon, a spokeswoman for the Public Service Co. of Oklahoma said. About 14,000 had been without power Thursday. Power is expected to be restored to almost all customers by this afternoon.

PSO asks any customers still without power to call (888) 218-3919.


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