The Norman Transcript

February 11, 2014

Caution urged on icy roads today; warmer weather expected later

Senior Staff Writer
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — By Joy Hampton

Roads could be slick this morning, and Norman can expect more snow, according to the National Weather Service.

Norman Public Works Director Shawn O’Leary said city crews have returned to round the clock, 12-hour shifts to treat roads throughout the night.

“Icing overnight and a little dab of snow on top is what we’re expecting,” O’Leary said. “That can still be treacherous, especially the ice.”

“It looks like we’re going to get a little more snow,” senior forecaster Michael Scotten said Monday. “Snow will be developing in Norman between midnight Monday until 8 a.m. Tuesday.”

The city can expect about an inch of snow. Temperatures will remain very cold.

Scotten said temperatures this morning will be about 18 degrees. Wind chill will be in the single digits, and the high for the day is 27.

However, cold temperatures will not hang around long.

“A pattern change is coming,” Scotten said. “Dry and much warmer weather will return by the weekend. We’ll begin the warm-up on Wednesday.”

Wednesday is expected to be in the 40s, with highs in the 60s expected by the weekend.

Norman has not received its most recent order of salt, but the city has enough sand and salt for this week’s weather.

“We really have been rationing ourselves throughout the events,” O’Leary said.

Sand is not as much of a problem, but getting salt from suppliers at this time of year can be challenging, he said.

Cleveland County crews have been working on roads to treat problem areas as they arise.

“We have crews on standby,” District 1 County Commissioner Rod Cleveland said. “We have about half the guys coming during the day so that the rest can work at night. We’ll probably have a shift crew come in about midnight and pretreat the bridges.”

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation advises motorists to keep at least 200 feet between vehicles and road clearing equipment.

ODOT treats state highways and interstate highways such as State Highway 9 and Interstate 35.

ODOT crews stock about 130,000 tons of salt and sand and 121 tons of magnesium chloride for use during winter months.

Statewide, 35 bridges are equipped with de-icing applicators of magnesium chloride that can be activated to prevent ice accumulation, according to ODOT facts.

When winter weather hits, ODOT activates nearly 1,000 crew members working in shifts around the clock. The agency maintains 110 salt sheds and more than 500 trucks statewide.

To check weather-related road conditions, visit dps.state.ok.us or call the Department of Public Safety toll free at 888-425-2385.

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