Road Crews, Shelters Prepping For First 2014 Winter Storms

Saturday, February 1st 2014, 10:57 pm
By: News 9

Oklahoma City road crews have been gearing up since Friday night to pre-treat the roads. And local shelters say they're making way for an influx of people coming in from the cold.

City crews will start filing out at midnight to lay down more salt and sand in prep for snowy weather. Ready for whatever winter brings, city trucks didn't waste any time.

"It's an operation that the city is prepared for. I think in advance of the weather this weekend, having the trucks pre-loaded and bridges pre-treated," said Oklahoma City Public Works director Eric Wenger. "We've taken every precaution to make sure we can keep streets clear."

For the last couple days, Oklahoma City road crews have been gearing up their salt-spreaders and piling tons of sand into trucks to help get the roads ready. Employees have been practicing snow routes since the summer.

2/1/2014 Related Story: Residents, Crew Preparing For Wintry Week In Oklahoma  

"We're at a moment's notice, ready to go into full-scale operations," Wenger said. "So as the forecast changes, crews are ready to be on the road and make sure that we have safe citizens."

In downtown Oklahoma City and in Norman, the Salvation Army is preparing its shelters for crowds of people in need of a warm place to stay.

"I know in like 24 hours, if anybody comes in the middle of the night and needs a place to stay, we have mats out. They already have the cots pulled out at the side of the dining hall," said Salvation Army director of development, Jeanean South.

The Salvation Army expects to be at capacity once temperatures drop, and they'll also have plenty of coats and blankets on hand for those staying at the shelter.

"We will definitely be prepared and most importantly, we want to keep people safe and warm, save lives, and do what we can to help out," South said.

The city says it will be watching the weather closely overnight, so when crews arrive at midnight, they'll begin working 12-hour shifts to help keep roads clear.

Because of the wintry weather, the Oklahoma Blood Institute is anticipating a shortage and is encouraging anyone over the age of 16 to donate.