OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Icy weather struck Oklahoma for the second time in two weeks Friday, causing traffic accidents that snarled traffic and prompting airlines at the state's two major airports to cancel flights. One death was blamed on the weather.
Forecasters said up to a half-inch of ice could accumulate across the middle of the state, from the Texas border in the southwest to the Missouri border in the northeast.
"We're looking at significant ice accumulation along the Interstate 44 corridor. Probably the worst conditions, for driving, will probably remain north of I-44," said National Weather Service meteorologist Chuck Hodges in Tulsa.
Highway crews shut a ramp between eastbound I-40 and northbound Interstate 35 in the Oklahoma City area for about 35 minutes Friday night, and traffic slowed after a 15-car pileup at a major interstate intersection near downtown.
Television reports, citing Oklahoma City police, said one motorist died in a four-car collision along old U.S. 66 west of the city.
The state Department of Transportation mobilized trucks to salt and sand roadways, according to spokeswoman Kenna Carmon.
"Things are still very fluid depending on how the storm develops. Here in Tulsa County alone there will be about 45 trucks that will be out," Carmon said.
Spokeswoman Karen Carney at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City said about a dozen arrivals were canceled for Friday night, although no departures were immediately affected.
"Some of it is just in anticipation, some of it is just positioning aircraft," by airlines who don't want their aircraft to be stuck at an airport where it cannot depart, Carney said.