Thousands of Oklahomans are expected to wake up Saturday morning without power in their homes and face dangerous driving conditions if they venture out onto roads after freezing rain fell overnight across the state.
The National Weather Service issued an ice storm warning from 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Meteorologists forecast as much as a half-inch of ice accumulation for the Oklahoma City metro area by Saturday morning.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported a number of accidents and closed several major highway travel routes throughout the state while accidents were cleared up.
Trooper Brian Orr said Interstate 40 eastbound to I-35 northbound was closed at 8:30 p.m. for about 35 minutes.
About 10 p.m., two separate stretches of I-35 southbound were closed after vehicle accidents, one in Kay County at mile marker 229 on the Chikaskia River Bridge and the other in Noble County at mile marker 198.
Oklahoma City police scanner traffic indicated a multicar pileup on I-235 just north of I-40 about 7 p.m., and NW 39 was closed about the same time in both directions from Council Avenue to County Line Road.
Kelly Cain, state Emergency Management Department spokeswoman, said there were no reports of power outages in Oklahoma City as of 10:15 p.m., but 500 homes were without power in Stephens County. OG&E System Watch recorded more than 1,600 homes in Enid without power and 62 in Yukon.
Lara O'Leary, Emergency Medical Services Authority spokeswoman, said as of10:15 p.m. Friday, there had been 17 motor vehicle crashes with reported injuries and two slip-and-fall injuries in the metro area.
Precipitation moved into Oklahoma City about 6 p.m. from the south moving northeast, with ice accumulation reaching 1/8 inch in some areas by 8 p.m., the National Weather Service reported. The maximum period of freezing rain was estimated between midnight and 7 a.m. Saturday.
The weather service expects rain-sleet combination into Saturday night.