Oklahoma spring snow storm rages on

FROM STAFF REPORTS Modified: March 27, 2009 at 10:28 pm •  Published: March 27, 2009
While a blizzard has laid siege to the Panhandle and much of northwest Oklahoma, southeastern Oklahoma is holding out for possible thunderstorms.

Oklahoma City metro residents are waiting to see what these varying spring storms will mean for central Oklahoma, where a winter storm warning remains in effect and the freezing line began inching across central Oklahoma around 7 p.m.

At 9 p.m. the storm’s freezing line extended across central Oklahoma with snow accumulations expected to be between 8 to 16 inches in northwest portions of the state, 2 to 4 inches in central Oklahoma and one inch or less in southeastern Oklahoma.

Northwest

A blizzard warning continues for the Panhandle and northwest Oklahoma for 10-15 inches of snow.

North central

North-central Oklahoma remains under a winter storm warning where a quarter-inch of ice may accumulate before changeover to snow occurs this evening. Snow accumulations of 6-10 inches are possible.

West central

West and west-central Oklahoma is under a winter storm warning where 4-8 inches of snow are possible.

Southeast

Isolated severe thunderstorms are likely across central and eastern Oklahoma this afternoon and evening with large hail being the primary threat. The far southeast part of the state is also under a tornado watch.

Late evening the snow was confined primarily to areas north of I-40 in western Oklahoma and west of I-35 in northern Oklahoma. Showers and thunderstorms continue across eastern Oklahoma.

Snow will continue through much of the night for Oklahoma and start to end in the panhandle and northwest by late morning Saturday. Snow should clear the state by late Saturday evening. A blizzard warning continues for the Oklahoma panhandle and northwest for 10-15 inches of snow. North-central Oklahoma remains under a winter storm warning where snow accumulations of 6-10 inches are possible. Central and west-central Oklahoma is under a winter storm warning where 4-8 inches of snow are possible.

STATE OF EMERGENCY

A State of Emergency continues for 50 Oklahoma counties affected by the storm. The executive order marks a first step toward seeking federal assistance should it be necessary. Additionally, the order allows state agencies to make emergency purchases and acquisitions needed to expedite the delivery of resources to local jurisdictions.

INJURIES

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol reports, since midnight, troopers have worked 30 collisions in the northwest area of the state as a result of the storm. Eleven of the crashes involved injury.

POWER OUTAGES

Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives reports about 500 Northwestern Electric customers in Beaver and Harper counties are without power. High winds caused galloping power lines causing the outages. Snowdrifts continue to present access issues for restoration crews.

OG&E reports 1,349 customers without power in Harrah, Kremlin, Medford and Nardin.

MASS CARE

The American Red Cross is operating a shelter at the Methodist Church in Guymon, at Sixth and Quinn. Southern Baptist Disaster Relief is providing meals at the shelter.

Additionally, local officials have opened shelters at the Boise City Methodist Church, Hardesty Baptist Church and the Hooker Fire Department.

The shelters are needed primarily for motorists left stranded by blizzard conditions.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health continues to monitor all nursing homes and hospitals in the impacted area. Isolated reports of power outages were received however local health departments were able to handle the situation.

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