Oklahoma Officials Prepare For 1st Wintry Blast Of 2020
Agencies across central Oklahoma are preparing for winter weather Friday night into Sunday morning.
At Will Rogers World Airport, several airlines are already waiving change fees for this weekend.
Airport spokeswoman Karen Carney said storms in Dallas and Chicago will also likely cause issues for people leaving out of Oklahoma City. She said maintenance crews will be at the airport overnight, but delays and cancellations are up to each airline.
“We have our plows, our brooms, we have our chemicals ready if we need to put some down on the runways,” Carney said. “Our focus is to make sure the runways and taxiways are open, as well as the roadways into the terminal, but it’s ultimately the airlines’ that make that decision if a flight leaves or not.”
She said another thing that could slow travelers Saturday is deicing. Carney said that can often create a domino effect causing other delays further down the line.
Will Rogers World Airport is on the City of Oklahoma City’s snow route.
City officials said they have 15,000 tons of salt on hand to distribute on the roadways if needed.
“We have mounted 22 trucks and we are ready to go on at midnight,” Oklahoma City Public Works spokeswoman Shannon Cox said. “We will run 12-hour shifts until conditions improve.”
The City said rainy conditions kept them from pre-treating roads and bridges like the normally would under dry conditions.
Oklahoma City coordinates with other metro cities to make sure connecting roads stay clear, too.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is urging drivers to leave a little more time to get from one place to another.
OHP said in addition to responding to crashes Saturday, they will also be out checking on stranded vehicles.
“Realize that just because the speed limit is, say 60 or 70 mph, doesn’t mean the road conditions are going to dictate for you to drive that fast,” Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lt. Kera Philippi said. “Decrease your speed, increase the follow distance between you and the vehicles in front of you.”
Troopers said if you are in an accident stay in your vehicle and call for help.