MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

December 22, 2013

Area expected to escape worst of coming snowstorm


Associated Press

— OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Snow was forecast for parts of Oklahoma following a winter storm that brought freezing rain and ice to the state, was blamed for two fatal traffic accidents and left thousands without power Saturday.

“The main effects of the snow are going to be across northwestern to north-central Oklahoma,” said meteorologist Ken Gallant with the  National Weather Service in Norman. “Four to six inches of snow in the northwest.”

Gallant said the snowfall would taper off to a “dusting” in central Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation said slick roads were reported statewide, particularly on highway bridges, overpasses and highway exit/entrance ramps.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said a 16-year-old boy died early Saturday after his car crashed and overturned on U.S. 64 near Tulsa. Oklahoma City police said a woman was killed Friday night in a collision on a slick roadway.

In Clinton in western Oklahoma, cattle rancher Paul Schilberg said walking also could be treacherous.

“I went out to feed this morning and I had to watch where I was walking,” Schilberg said. “It’s just a better day to be inside, but I got to feed the cattle.”

Meanwhile, more than 24,000 remained without power on Saturday.

“We have, statewide, 19,351 without power,” said Oklahoma Gas and Electric spokeswoman Karen Kurtz. “We’ve got a little over 7,900 outages in the Oklahoma City metro area ... all weather-related.”

Public Service Company of Oklahoma reported 5,700 outages statewide, more than 4,100 of those in the Tulsa metro area.

Gallant said temperatures across the state would start slowly warming up Sunday — with highs in the 30s and possibly closer to 40 along the Red River.

“Probably starting on Monday some sun, temperatures will start to rebound, maybe into the mid-to-upper 30s in central Oklahoma (and) mid-40s in southern Oklahoma,” he said.