Ice And Snow Linger On Tulsa Streets
By Jeffrey Smith, The News On 6
TULSA, OK -- Tulsa is finding travel treacherous following the Christmas Eve blizzard. Warmer temperatures Saturday afternoon melted some of the snow, but thick icy patches are still an issue for drivers.
The Tulsa Streets Maintenance Manager says the ice will be around for a while.
"Ice is the hardest thing to get rid of," said Darren Stefanek, City of Tulsa, "'cause it bonds to the pavement. So that's going to be the last thing to go, because that's on the bottom. So what we have right now is layers, layers of snow and ice."
Stefanek says warm days and freezing nights means icy roads will still be a problem for several more days. He says Tulsa will have all 32 plows back on the roads Sunday.
An Oklahoma Department Of Transportation spokeswoman says they have 400 plows and salt spreaders working to clear the roads.
At the Tulsa Airport, things are pretty much back to normal. Most flights are on time and the runways are open.
Jenny Surl was supposed to introduce her boyfriend to her parents for Christmas, but things changed.
"He got delayed three times, two other flights got cancelled, and then finally he made it in to Minneapolis," said Jenny Surls who was waiting for her boyfriend at the airport. "And then his last flight out last night got cancelled again. So he's coming in this morning."
After days of headaches, Jenny's boyfriend finally touched down. The last remaining hurdle: getting home on the highways.
On Saturday, a common theme is that drivers thought the city's streets would be a lot clearer. It was a common refrain at the gas pumps.
"Drove pretty much normal speeds till we got to the Tulsa city limits," said Rick Austin, an Oklahoma City driver. "Then it's been about 10-15 miles per hour in Tulsa. Real bad - ice covered. Snow packed. It doesn't even look like it's been plowed hardly at all.
Rick Austin says the turnpikes are clear, but the rest is a mess.
"Once the turnpike ends, so does the plowing," Austin said.
Mike Campbell is driving back from Joplin. He says he hasn't seen too many plows, either.
"You see a few light duty trucks out on the turnpike, but they're not doing anything," Campbell said. "They're letting the traffic go ahead and work it off with warm tires."
Back at the airport, Jenny Surls says she doesn't care if she has to drive slowly, as long as she's with her boyfriend.
Nothing like spending the holidays with loved ones - even if it's a bit belated.
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