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Van carrying Tennessee inmates stuck in snow for four hours

Pottawatomie County could get as much as 15 inches of snow before the storm ends, the county emergency management director said.
BY ANN KELLEY Modified: February 1, 2011 at 4:24 pm •  Published: February 1, 2011

— A van carrying inmates from Tennessee was stuck in a snowdrift for four hours this morning, but the passengers found refuge at the Pottawatomie County jail.

Jail director Sid Stell said the guards and 14 inmates arrived about noon.

Stell said the prison transport van was traveling in the storm until it was decided conditions were too dangerous to continue. Arrangements were made for the prisoners and guards to stop at the Pottawatomie County Public Safety Center for shelter, but the van missed a turn and got stuck about one-fourth mile away in a parking lot, he said.

Stell said four of the prisoners require private cells, and he doesn't have the room to safely accommodate them until weather conditions improve. He said the jail already has 255 prisoners, which is almost at capacity.

He said the guards and prisoners will shower, eat and rest at his jail today and then head to Oklahoma County jail.

Occasional snow and widespread blowing snow continues in Shawnee this afternoon with the temperatures about 8 degrees. There is a northwest wind between 25 and 31 mph, with gusts as high as 47 mph, county emergency management Director Don Lynch said.

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