By James Neal, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Emergency management officials are advising residents of north-central Oklahoma to prepare for likely blizzard conditions late Sunday afternoon and into Monday.
The National Weather Service activated a winter storm watch for much of the state beginning this afternoon.
Certified director of Enid/Garfield County Emergency Management Mike Honigsberg said he expects that to be updated to a blizzard watch or warning today, as a low pressure system tracks through the central part of the state and then to the northeast.
“It looks like the storm track will stay to our south, and I have a feeling we will end up in blizzard conditions,” Honigsberg said.
Honigsberg said areas north of the front, which likely will include Garfield County, are forecast to see blizzard conditions and winds of 25-45 mph.
He said the storm’s path could alter, and people should keep up with weather advisories today as things develop. In general, he said people north of I-40 and west of I-35 should prepare for blizzard conditions.
Honigsberg said there are a few simple steps people can take to prepare for the storm “before going into the panic mode.”
He said people should have enough food, water and other essential items in their house sufficient to last for several days.
People should fill up their gas tanks in case they do have to get out, but Honigsberg said non-essential travel should be avoided. If you must go out, Honigsberg advised taking along an emergency kit and fully charged cell phone.
Finally, he said people need to not be complacent, and keep up with weather developments by listening to local FM stations, by checking the Enid News & Eagle website, and the Enid-Garfield County Emergency Management website at gcem.org.
“Everybody is pretty much set to go and on standby,” Honigsberg said of local emergency management officials, public works crews and first responders. “We’ll let Mother Nature do her thing, and then we’ll deal with it.”