Oklahoma snow given warm shoulder

BY BRYAN DEAN Modified: February 9, 2010 at 12:41 am •  Published: February 9, 2010

Although snow hit many parts of the state earlier than expected Monday, temperatures stayed above freezing most of the day, keeping roads from icing and sparing residents from further power outages.

Emergency management officials said their biggest concern was that plunging overnight temperatures could freeze the wet roads, making travel dangerous this morning.

The snow began overnight in northwest Oklahoma and reached the Oklahoma City area early Monday. However, the roads were mostly wet by afternoon, officials said.

"Everything is clear,” said Mills Gotcher, spokeswoman for the state Transportation Department. "We did have some problems this morning, but the snow was cleared and it hasn’t refrozen. We were worried around noon, but the temperature has been our biggest ally.”

Forecasters expected as much as 5 inches of snow in the Oklahoma City area and 6 inches in the northern part of the state. But with temperatures hovering just above freezing across most of the state through the afternoon, the precipitation melted on the roadways.

Mike DeGiacomo, Oklahoma City’s street maintenance superintendent, said crews put some salt on roads in the area as the snow fell in the morning, but weren’t finding many slick spots.

DeGiacomo said crews would work 12-hour shifts through the night to prevent refreezing.

Michaelann Ooten, spokeswoman for the state Emergency Management Department, said there were no requests for state assistance Monday.

"We just had a conference call with local emergency managers as well as a number of other partners that we always depend on during disasters,” she said. Know It: Winter Survival Severe Weather page


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