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Oklahoma weather: Weekend expected to produce relief from the cold

A donation this week from a leading energy company provided a bit of a break from the cold for some of Oklahoma City's most poverty-stricken residents. And more moderate weather will be a welcome change for furnace technicians.
by William Crum Published: February 7, 2014

Relief is on the way from this week's bitter cold weather, but it's expected to be Saturday before daytime highs reach above freezing in Oklahoma City.

A donation this week from a leading energy company provided a bit of a break from the cold for some of Oklahoma City's most poverty-stricken residents.

And more moderate weather will be a welcome change for furnace technicians like Joshua Walker, who worked on a rooftop Thursday in 14-degree weather.

“It's very chilling,” Walker said.

“It's miserable for everyone.”

But misery equals business for Walker, who said his phone has been ringing since the last bout of below-freezing weather.

Roughly four out of five calls are for emergencies.

“We don't look forward to people's misfortunes,” Walker said.

“But this is our line of work, and the cold temperatures increase our business.”

Warmer temperatures

Thursday's low at Will Rogers World Airport was 9 degrees at 8:35 a.m., about an hour after sunrise, said Jonathan Kurtz, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Norman.

The weather service measured 3 inches of snow at the airport by Thursday morning. The mercury made it to 18 Thursday afternoon.

While temperatures early Friday were expected to drop to 10, winds were expected to lose some of their bite and begin blowing from the south.

Friday's high should be 26, with no snow.

Still, Friday likely was to be the third consecutive day of below-freezing afternoon highs in the city.

Highs Saturday were expected to hit the upper 30s. Forecasters, though, said to look for a weather system to push more cold air into central Oklahoma early next week.

Clearing streets

A snowplow tangled with a car Thursday morning in Oklahoma City as crews worked to clear snow and ice from the city's snow routes.

Nobody was hurt in the accident, which occurred at NW 13 and Shartel Avenue.

The city had 30 trucks out plowing streets and spreading salt, with crews working 12-hour shifts, city spokeswoman Kristy Yager said.

The city buys its salt — at $68 per ton — from a supplier in Hutchinson, Kan. Trucks were headed south with more salt to replenish the city's supplies.

In Edmond, a police officer's car was rear-ended on a snow-covered street by a car going too fast for conditions, said Jennifer Monroe, a police spokeswoman. No one was injured.

Despite the cold weather, advocates for the homeless said there still was space in shelters.

That didn't necessarily mean people without a place to live were just toughing it out.

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by William Crum
Reporter
OU and Norman High School graduate, formerly worked as a reporter and editor for the Associated Press, the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, and the Norman Transcript. Married, two children, lives in Norman.
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