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Wintry storm hits Oklahoma, leaves at least 2 dead

Snow started to fall in Oklahoma City about 12:30 p.m. A winter storm warning has been issued for the much of the state. The warning covers areas from southwest to northeast Oklahoma including central Oklahoma.

by Bryan Painter and Silas Allen Modified: December 5, 2013 at 9:49 pm •  Published: December 6, 2013

Freezing rain and sleet had fallen in areas closer to Interstate 40 in eastern Oklahoma and across the far southeast corner of the state.

Sellers was expecting a lull Thursday evening but thought the wintry precipitation would “pick back up late Thursday night and overnight.” That is when the weather service was anticipating the greatest accumulation of snowfall.

The highest accumulations of snowfall — between 3 and 6 inches with locally higher amounts possible — were expected along the Interstate 44 corridor down to near Interstate 40, Sellers said.

Ice accumulations in southeast Oklahoma could range from

inch to

inch south of the Interstate 40 corridor with up to 1 inch of ice possible in portions of far southeastern Oklahoma, he said.

As of midday Thursday, some eastern areas of the state were in a winter storm warning while others were in an ice storm warning, both until 6 p.m. Friday.

Friday’s high is expected to be in the low 20s before the overnight low plunges to single digits.

Southern Oklahoma bore the brunt of Thursday’s storm, said Keli Cain, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management. The southern half of the state saw heavy precipitation, with a mix of ice and snow, Cain said.

Comanche County Emergency Management spokesman Jacob Russell said the county saw a mix of sleet and snow Thursday afternoon. Icy roads caused a few car accidents around the county, Russell said.

McCurtain County Emergency Manager Greg Campbell said the county had seen rain but no freezing rain or snow by 3:30 p.m. Thursday. McCurtain County and other counties around the state were prepared for the storm, he said.

The state Office of Emergency Management and the Federal Emergency Management Agency had positioned generators and other resources around the state before the storm. Campbell said having those resources in place would be helpful if the county sees power outages lasting several days.

Oklahoma Gas and Electric Corp. reported no areas of power outages in Oklahoma at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

Oklahoma National Guard support teams were standing by Thursday afternoon in various locations throughout the state, including Ardmore, Sand Springs, Muskogee and Vinita, said Col. Max Moss, a spokesman for the guard. Those teams will assist the Oklahoma Highway Patrol in helping motorists who are stranded in the wintry storm, Moss said.

Contributing: Staff Writers Kyle Fredrickson and Graham Brewer has disabled the comments for this article.
by Bryan Painter
Assistant Local Editor
Bryan Painter, assistant local editor, has 31 years’ experience in journalism, including 22 years with the state's largest newspaper, The Oklahoman. In that time he has covered such events as the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah...
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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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