, Muskogee, OK

December 20, 2013

State braces for second winter storm in 15 days

— OKLAHOMA CITY (AP)  — Airlines canceled flights Friday in Oklahoma City and Tulsa in anticipation of a storm that threatened to dump ice across a wide swath of the state.

An ice storm warning was issued until 6 a.m. Sunday by the National Weather Service for central and southwestern Oklahoma and until 6 p.m. Saturday for the northeastern portion of the state. The forecast called for up to a half-inch of ice accumulation in the state’s midsection from the border in the southwest with the Texas Panhandle to the northeastern corner that abuts Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri.

“We’re looking at significant ice accumulation along the Interstate 44 corridor. Probably the worst conditions, for driving, will probably remain north of I-44,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Chuck Hodges in Tulsa.

The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management began planning for the storm Friday morning, said spokeswoman Keli Cain.

“The state EOC (Emergency Operations Center) is activating with key personnel from emergency management on duty 24 hours,” Cain said. The agency will be in contact with agencies such as the National Guard, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, the Red Cross and other emergency response officials, Cain said.

The state Department of Transportation was also mobilizing trucks to prepare to salt and sand roadways, according to spokeswoman Kenna Carmon.

“Things are still very fluid depending on how the storm develops. Here in Tulsa County alone there will be about 45 trucks that will be out,” Carmon said.