Be Prepared When Winter Weather Hits
By Rusty Surette, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Thousands of Oklahomans across the state are rushing to load up on supplies for the next round of winter weather this week.
Governor Brad Henry is telling Oklahomans to heed the warnings and is already urging Oklahomans to stay off the roads when the storm hits on Thursday.
At a news conference Tuesday, he described what much of the state may be up against.
"This could be a very, very dangerous winter storm," Henry said. "This storm has real potential to be dangerous and bottom line, I want people to be ready for it and be aware."
Across the metro, grocery and hardware stores were flooded with people preparing for the possibility of ice and snow.
"They are taking the words of the weather man very seriously," said Bransen Bloskvich, Westlake ACE Hardware.
Sondra Howser said she wasn't ready for last month's blizzard and said she refused to risk it this time.
"Well I got de-icer and candles, everything they told me to get," Howser said.
OG&E officials said utility crews are ready to respond in full force.
"It presents a number of challenges. Ice is our worst nightmare. We've seen what it can do in the past," said Brian Alford, OG&E Spokesperson.
During the 2007 ice storm, nearly 300,000 OG&E customers lost power. That's why crews are already lining up their resources and equipment this week. Alford said they're bracing for what could be a bad case of déjà-vu.
"If you look at the icing that may occur and the wind potential that we're seeing, it could cause equal damage, maybe more, maybe less," Alford said.
If you have a power outage in your area during this week's snow storm or anytime, report it by calling OG&E at 405-272-9595 or toll free at 1-800-522-6870.
ODOT and city officials said they are concerned about the snow and highway hazards. Street crews said they'll begin spreading salt brine in Oklahoma City on Thursday, and once precipitation begins to fall, their work will pick up.
"The motoring public needs to be able to get from point A to point B, and so we need to make sure there is no potholes there. And if there's snow or ice we need to try and clear that," said Mike Degiacomo, Oklahoma City streets.
City crews will only salt Oklahoma City streets along the regional snow routes. ODOT will also salt highways including Interstate 35, Interstate 235, Interstate 44 and Northwest Expressway.
Here are a few quick tips to make sure you are ready when winter weather hits:
- Make sure your vehicle is gassed up.
- Have cash on hand in case the power is out for an extended period of time.
- Stock up on plenty of food and water.
- Make sure pets have plenty of food that can last for several days.
- Fill up medications before the storm hits.
More on News9.com: Oklahoma Prepares for Another Winter Storm