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Green Country Businesses Slammed Ahead Of Bitter Cold Temperatures

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Todd Rickert, with Rickert Firewood, works to stay ahead of all the extra orders Monday. Todd Rickert, with Rickert Firewood, works to stay ahead of all the extra orders Monday.
Rickert splits and sorts wood Monday. Rickert splits and sorts wood Monday.
Lake Area Propane driver Frank Strate works in the cold Monday. Lake Area Propane driver Frank Strate works in the cold Monday.

NewsOn6.com & Craig Day, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Temperatures are expected to plunge into the single digits by Tuesday morning in some parts of Oklahoma.

"Wind chill values Tuesday through Wednesday morning may be on the order of -5 to 14 and wind chill advisories may be needed for these time periods," News On 6 Meteorologist Alan Crone said.

Temperatures aren't expected to get above the freezing mark until Friday.

With our first real cold snap, many people are scrambling to stock up on supplies to get them through the cold spell. Many businesses are also scrambling to keep up with demand.

See the latest News On 6 WARN Team forecast

At the Rickert Firewood lot just off Highway 169, Todd Rickert is busy splitting wood and trying to fill all of the extra orders he's getting.

"It's been crazy," he said.

Rickert said orders for firewood are coming in as quickly as the wood goes out. With temperatures plunging well below normal, even for January, no one wants to be left without a way to heat their home.

"Normally, we have wood stockpiled, set out across the front where people can come get it, and we kind of keep up with it as it goes, but we could have sold three times as much as we had made I'm sure if we would have had it stacked up," he said. 

Firewood businesses aren't the only ones putting in a lot of work as the weather gets bad. Lake Area Propane driver Frank Strate is also very busy.

"Nobody wants to get down real low, in case we can't get out here tomorrow or next day," Strate said.

Strate and other delivery drivers will make more than twice as many stops as a normal day. As soon as snow chances showed up in the forecast and certainly as the first snowflakes started to fall, their phones started ringing off the hook.

"We get all of ours on text, so it goes into the office, and they just send us a text, and like I say I think I've got 21 or 22 texts today," Strate said.

With temperatures not expected to rise above freezing until Thursday, whether it's propane or firewood, they know they're in for a very busy week. But they both know it comes with the job, and along with Oklahoma's often brutal weather.

"Six a.m. until whenever," Strate said, laughing. "Today for sure, and tomorrow and the day after I would imagine for sure."

Area plumbers aren't busy with a ton of cold weather related calls, yet. But that will likely happen this week. The best advice is to make sure you leave faucets dripping, cabinet doors open, and make sure pipes are wrapped.

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