UPDATE: Winter storm warning issued with up to 9 inches of snow in central Oklahoma on Christmas Day
Oklahoma City and state transportation officials are preparing for expected winter weather.
12:15 p.m. Crews have pre-treated bridges, overpasses and interchanges on the state's turnpikes in preparation for snow Tuesday.
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An Oklahoma Turnpike Authority spokesman said crews will be out beginning Monday evening and continuing through the night.
The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority has more than 35,000 tons of salt on hand along 97 spreaders and 119 plows to clear the highways of snow.
11:15 a.m. With a 90 percent chance of snow on Christmas Day, state Transportation Department officials are getting ready to work on roadways, spokesman Cody Boyd said. The department has 550 trucks statewide, 60 of those in Oklahoma City can spread sand and salt on slick spots. About 1,000 workers are on standby if needed on Christmas Day, Boyd said. They will work as long as needed, he said.
In Oklahoma City, the new Interstate 40 Crosstown will be easier to manage in the event of snow because it is not elevated and has wider shoulders for snowplows to pile any snow if needed, Boyd said.
Oklahoma Gas & Electric Co. officials are ready to active an incident command system, spokeswoman Kathleen O'Shea said. This would deploy crews to any areas of power outages.
“We've been tracking this and are getting updates from the weather service,” O'Shea said. “At this point we're still watching and waiting.”
Forrest Mitchell, a meteorologist in the National Weather Service in Norman, said a short period of freezing rain or sleet is expected before the snowfall in central Oklahoma. Roadways will be slick before snow starts just after midnight, he said.
“We're going to try to arrange it so Santa Claus can make his rounds before the snow starts,” Mitchell said.
9:15 a.m. Oklahoma City street crews will have 33 trucks ready to spread salt mixtures on icy roads, overpasses and bridges on Christmas Day, spokeswoman Kristy Yager said. Crews are loading trucks with salt Monday morning and heading toward bridges and overpasses. It will take about five hours for 12 trucks to cover city bridges and overpasses, she said. The city crews have 621 miles to cover. Snowplows can be attached to some trucks. Drifts are expected Tuesday. Crews will be on standby at midnight, Yager said.
“Our trucks are ready. We will do what we can,” she said.
5:45 a.m. Up to 7 inches of snow are possible on Christmas Day in Oklahoma City, the National Weather Service reports Monday morning.
A winter storm warning has been issued for central Oklahoma Monday. The warning takes effect at midnight Monday and lasts until midnight Tuesday.
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