By Rachel Petersen
At 10 a.m. Wednesday, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation reported that travel was still discouraged in southern portions of the state due to slick and hazardous conditions.
“Crews are reporting icy and snow-packed highways, and continue to treat roads and bridges statewide,” an ODOT press release states.
“In western and southwestern Oklahoma, highways are slick in some spots. Crews continue to report slick and hazardous conditions on I-40 between the Texas stateline and the Oklahoma City area.
“Highways in southern Oklahoma, including I-35 between the Oklahoma City area and the Texas stateline, continue to be slick and hazardous. Crews will be clearing roads throughout the day.
“In eastern Oklahoma, crews continue to treat roads and are reporting icy conditions on I-40 from Henryetta to approximately eight miles west of SH-150 and packed snow and ice on I-40 between Checotah and Gore. There are isolated slick spots on I-40 east of Gore to the Arkansas stateline.
“US-69 is slick and hazardous between Muskogee and Pittsburg County south of Eufaula. Highways south of Okmulgee and Muskogee and west of Keota are snow-packed, with the exception of US-75 south of Okmulgee, which has isolated slick spots.
“Highways in most of southeastern Oklahoma remain slick and hazardous, especially roads in the Ouachita Mountains, which are being affected by heavy winds and blowing snow. Crews anticipate they will continue treating and plowing roads through the afternoon.
Officials from ODOT are asking drivers to be cautious of slick spots and black ice. Officials are also say commuters should plan extra travel time and make sure cars are clear of ice before driving, the press release states.
“Crews will continue to monitor conditions through the morning as freezing conditions are expected to continue. Drivers are asked to be cautious and highway travel is strongly discouraged. Travelers are urged to check with other states, especially Texas and Arkansas, before driving out-of-state.”
The ODOT press release says the gives suggestions about safe traveling during snow and/or ice conditions. Motorists are asked to:
• Check road conditions before getting out on the roads.
• Stay at least 200 feet behind road-clearing equipment; crews need room to maneuver and can engage plowing or spreading materials without notice.
• Allow extra space between vehicles, so there is adequate distance for braking in wet and icy conditions.
• Be aware of “black ice,” which looks wet on the roadway, but is actually a thin layer of ice.
• Please be patient, plan trips ahead and allow extra time to reach destinations.
To check current road conditions, call the Department of Public Safety’s road conditions hotline at 888-425-2385.
Contact Rachel Petersen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more on this story, see the print or electronic editions of the McAlester News-Capital. Click here for print edition home delivery or click here to see the Smart Edition for your computer, tablet, e-reader or smart phone.