The Edmond Sun

February 25, 2013

Lt. gov. declares state of emergency due to storm

Mark Schlachtenhaufen
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb declared a state of emergency Monday afternoon and officials urged local residents to not drive due to the winter storm.

The storm, which was expected to drop 2-7 inches of snow in the Edmond area, was causing disruptions to local school activities, college classes, government operations and air travel.

At 1:15 p.m., the Oklahoma Department reported that a blizzard warning remained in effect for much of northwest Oklahoma , with additional parts of the state under a winter storm warning or advisory. Edmond was under the winter storm warning.

A few minutes after 3 p.m., the precipitation was becoming more ice than rain in Edmond, but roadways were still wet, according to local officers. Jenny Monroe, spokeswoman for the Edmond Police Department, said the agency has eight marked four-wheel drive SUVs available to use during the storm if motorists need assistance.

Earlier in the day, city emergency management staff members were communicating with the National Weather Service, which was keeping officials up to date on the latest weather models, City of Edmond spokeswoman Ashleigh Clark said.

“Our field services staff is also keeping a close eye on the models and will begin road maintenance as soon as they see fit once the weather hits Edmond,” Clark said.

Mike Magee, emergency management coordinator for the City of Edmond, said his office has been monitoring conditions and briefing other city departments. Issues expected to arise during the storm include drifting of snow, Magee said.

City of Edmond street department supervisor Herb Mason said the city has plenty of the product it spreads on snowy streets — magnesium chloride covered sand — on hand for this event. Clark said trucks were loaded early Monday morning.  

City officials were also urging residents to drive safe, check on loved ones — including pets — and to use caution with portable heaters if they are used.

Before the storm hit, Edmond residents were busy making preparations, which included filling up cars with gasoline, making sure they had enough food on hand and looking for items like snow shovels.

At the request of Governor Mary Fallin, Lamb declared a state of emergency for 56 Oklahoma counties including Oklahoma, Logan and Cleveland counties in central Oklahoma, due to the winter storm, excessive snow and severe weather affecting many areas of the state.

The action allows state agencies to make emergency purchases related to disaster relief and preparedness. It is also a first step toward seeking federal assistance should it be necessary.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol was urging motorists to avoid travel in all impacted areas. Many roads and highways in northwest Oklahoma were closed due to snow and blowing snow. While travel was strongly discouraged, if travel is unavoidable officials urged motorists to check road conditions before doing so.

For information regarding Oklahoma road conditions, call 405-425-2385 or visit www.dps.state.ok.us.