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Snow forces closure of schools, colleges, state agencies in Oklahoma City area

by Silas Allen Modified: December 6, 2013 at 8:12 pm •  Published: December 7, 2013

City spokeswoman Kristy Yager said 27 trucks were working to clear the city's streets, but plowing is a slow process. A truck spreading salt or sand generally can cover about 200 miles of road in a 12-hour shift, she said. But once plowing begins, progress slows.

“You just cannot plow as fast as you can salt,” she said.

Lara O'Leary, a spokeswoman for the Emergency Medical Services Authority, said calls to the ambulance service would have been higher if more people had ventured out Friday morning.

Between noon Thursday and 5:30 p.m. Friday, EMSA personnel responded to 25 motor vehicle crashes and 11 falls on the ground, a fall from a roof and two cases of exposure to the cold.

Meals might not be delivered

Lance Robertson, director of the Department of Human Services' aging division, said his offices closed at noon Friday, and the county DHS centers closed at 10 a.m.

Robertson said many aging assistance organizations in the metro area are closed, but some tried to provide services, weather permitting.

“I think the reality of it is our service system is also doing all it can, but we can't give any assurance that meals will be delivered today,” Robertson said. “If it can be done, they're going to try to do it.”

Elsewhere ...

• About 4,000 homes and businesses lost power, mainly in Choctaw and Pushmataha counties.

• In Altus, the weather halted the excavation of remains believed to be a homicide victim missing for a dozen years, district attorney John Wampler said.

Authorities took Garland Paul Allen, 49, of Texas, to Jackson County on Wednesday to face second-degree murder charge in the 2001 disappearance of his ex-wife, Tracy Allen. Allen led authorities to a rural spot in Kiowa County on Wednesday where his ex-wife's body is thought to be buried.

“They began the process and got far enough to discover what they believe is a grave containing human remains,” Wampler said. “Because of the weather, the recovery of the remains was halted.”

Contributing: Staff Writers Graham Brewer,

Juliana Keeping and Bryan Painter

by Silas Allen
General Assignment/Breaking News Reporter
Silas Allen is a news reporter for The Oklahoman. He is a Missouri native and a 2008 graduate of the University of Missouri.
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