Sleet In Tulsa, Broken Arrow Keeps Road Crews Busy

Thursday, December 5th 2013, 10:30 pm
By: Emory Bryan

The City of Tulsa started the storm Thursday with more than 14,000 tons of salt and sand. They started using it at midday when the sleet started to stick on some overpasses.

Tulsa started digging into the sand and salt supply they've hardly used in the last couple of years, dispatchers ready to send trucks out on 35 routes across the city. The focus was on clearing arterial streets, especially those with hills that lead to hospitals or fire stations.

Otherwise, 65 trucks were spread out evenly on each route.

"There's probably at least two, sometimes maybe three. It depends on what's out there. If the storms hit in that area really hard we may have a couple plow trucks, maybe three," said Street Maintenance Manager Tim McCorkell.

The Broken Arrow Fire Department feels a little more confident about their readiness now that they have a new $50,000 all terrain patient transport. In the 2010 blizzard, they had a hard time reaching patients in hilly or rural areas.

12/5/2013 Related Story: Green Country Cities Prepared For Slick Roads In Winter Storm

"We do have patients inside these neighborhoods where we have difficulty reaching, so we'll call upon this vehicle that, being six-wheel drive, can reach people in the snow drifts or whatever," said Broken Arrow Assistant Fire Chief Phil Reid.

There appeared to be less snow and ice on roads just west of Tulsa, but there was enough for it to be a factor in several accidents, including one where a truck slid off the road.

No one was injured there.

Between 12:30 and 9:30 p.m. Thursday, EMSA responded to 39 weather related calls, mostly wrecks.

In Tulsa, traffic was moving slowly, but relatively safely on most streets. There were a number of accidents, like one at 61st and Yale, where one person was injured. But for the most part, it appeared people took precautions on the roads as the snow and sleet started falling.

Of course, the situation could change dramatically overnight, but with schools closed and some businesses likely to take the day off, traffic will be reduced, and people will have had a little practice driving on the slick roads on Thursday.