OKC City Officials Say Crews Were Well Prepared For Snow

Monday, November 17th 2014, 5:49 pm
By: News 9

Oklahoma City salt trucks were in force this weekend and Monday, but many drivers said their impact was tough to notice on the slick roads. City officials said they stand by that they had all the snow routes cleared, but one city salt truck driver told a different story.

A slip-and-slide was how many Oklahoma City streets looked Monday morning.

"It's awful," said driver Kathy James.

Cars drove slowly, but speed wasn't the biggest factor when snow fell over the weekend.

"That four-wheel drive will help you go, but it doesn't help you stop in this kind of weather," said driver Tom Hanke.

It was weather the City of Oklahoma City said it was well prepared for.

11/15/2014 Related Story: OKC Crews Prepared For Potential Ice And Snow

"Believe it or not, we had crews out driving every snow route, so they were working, it was just hard to keep up with the freeze," said Oklahoma City spokesperson Kristy Yager.

Covering all the designated roads except for neighborhood streets, the city used 10 salt trucks on Sunday and 15 on Monday, which wasn't enough in one salt truck driver's opinion, who did not want to be identified.

"When I came into work at 7:30 this morning, there were only five trucks that were prepped and ready to go with salt machines on them already loaded," said the driver.

The driver said he typically works the midnight to noon shift, and never got a phone this weekend to come in and work.

"Six, 12 or 15 people is not enough when in reality it should be at least 30 plus people out," he said.

“What they should've had was the full snow and ice crew come in, which we had trained for back in early October, to come in with the plows, salt machines and everything, that's what should've happened but didn't.”

But city officials said they stand by that several crews came in and continued to work around the clock. Yager said paying the crews' overtime was expensive, but money was not a factor in the work crew assignments, even if the price of salt has nearly doubled.

“We empathize, it was difficult getting around. One of the big problems were the ground temperatures yesterday, but we didn't expect as much snow as we got, and I think it caught a lot of cities in the metro by surprise," Yager said.

11/16/2014 Related Story: Slick Roads Cause Dozens Of Wrecks Across The OKC Metro

Yager said next time if the metro has a bigger storm that lasts longer, then the city will consider bringing in contractors to help.