Okla. National Guard Partners With OHP To Help Folks Stranded In The Snow

Wednesday, February 17th 2021, 5:17 pm
By: Anjelicia Bruton

National Guardsmen have been working side-by-side with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol to help drivers who were stuck on the roads or in need of shelter.

The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety requested the Oklahoma National Guard provide stranded motorist assistance recovery teams, also known as S.M.A.R.T teams, to assist the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

“We supplement their troopers, providing an extra four vehicles, 10 people and usually a very large wrecker that can pull vehicles out. If you’re driving and you think you're good to go and you slide off into a ditch and your car stalls in zero degree weather, it doesn't take very long before that becomes a serious emergency. So that's why were there to give extra man power to the highway patrol,” Col. Robert Walter said.

Over the last couple of days, SMART teams have mainly been responding to stranded drivers and accidents near the three interstates; Interstate 40, Interstate 44, and Interstate 35. When they're not responding to calls, the guardsmen are patrolling around the roads.

Wednesday is the last day the National Guard will be on-duty, assisting troopers. If conditions change, they will extend their services.