OKLAHOMA CITY —
Latest round of snow, ice keeps residents inside
Oklahoma residents hunkered down indoors for the third time this week as icy roads and bitterly cold temperatures closed schools and government offices and canceled sporting events on Thursday.
The winter storm spread 1 to 3 inches of snow across the Oklahoma City metro area early Thursday but had moved out of the state by mid-afternoon, said Ryan Barnes, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Norman. Areas in northeast Oklahoma saw 1-2 inches of snow.
It was the latest in a series of storms to wallop the state, where residents are getting used to seeing school closings scroll across the bottom of their television screens this winter. On Thursday, several districts canceled classes and sports events again, including Oklahoma City Public Schools. And nonessential state employees in Canadian, Cleveland, Lincoln, Logan, McClain, Oklahoma and Pottawatomie counties were allowed to remain at home until 10 a.m. Thursday because of hazardous road conditions. Several tribal governments also shuttered or opened late because of weather.
Emergency Medical Services Authority responded to several injury accidents as well as reports of cold exposure and people slipping and falling, said spokeswoman Lara O’Leary. Paramedics urged parents to make sure children playing outside in the snow were bundled up with hats, gloves and several loose layers underneath a warm winter coat.
Temperatures were in the single digits for many locations, said Barnes, the meteorologist. Oklahoma City reached a low of 9 degrees on Thursday, while Arnett in northwestern Oklahoma reached 0. Wind chills dipped into negatives Thursday morning.
Oklahoma City-area resident Angie Milligan said it’s not the ice or snow that keeps her indoors during inclement weather, but the bitterly cold temperatures and wind.
“I feel like this is out of the ordinary. I feel like it’s been a lot harsher than we’re used to,” Milligan, 49, said. “It just seems like there’s been a lot more of it this year.”
Milligan, who works in the administrative offices at a private school, said the many weather days that some districts have to take make it difficult for teachers to stay on track with their curriculum schedule.