Overnight Refreezing Cause For Concern For Tulsa Drivers

Wednesday, February 20th 2013, 10:55 pm
By: News On 6

Scary road conditions, car wrecks and injuries were just some of the headaches Oklahomans dealt with Wednesday.

After the sun sets, bridges and overpasses once again become a big concern, because of black ice. Our camera was rolling Wednesday night when that played out on a ramp on the IDL.

As our photographer was out filming snow plows and salt spreaders that were out trying to prevent that sickening sound of metal on concrete, a PT Cruiser collided with a highway barrier on the IDL, and the three people inside scrambled to safety to avoid a collision from behind.

Tulsans have mixed feelings about the mixed bag of rain, snow and slush, especially when it comes to driving in it.

2/20/2013 Related Story: Tulsa Police Offer Four Rules For Staying Safe On Snowy Streets

"It's very frustrating around here, because people are just absolutely petrified of snow," said Brian Bailey.

On Highway 169, a woman lost control of her SUV and flipped. Three people were taken to the hospital, but the tiniest passenger was just fine.

Accidents like that kept EMSA busy, working twice as many wrecks as normal.

Curvy steep roads were dicey for drivers, as well as the bridges and overpasses, which freeze before anything else.

"I don't know about tonight. We'll just see if it freezes up and then we can talk again in the morning," said Tulsan Ethelyn Harbin.

The slush and melted snow refreezing is the big concern.

"That's when we are going to have to start operations again on the salting and sanding of the bridges and roadways," said Kenna Mitchell, of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.

Mitchell said the agency is keeping a close eye on the temperatures.

"It just takes a very short time for the black ice conditions to develop and that can really catch drivers off guard if they're not careful," she said.

ODOT has plows and salt spreaders on standby statewide. As for the City of Tulsa, its full crew and 64 trucks are ready to go.

The concern now is what's going to happen overnight and into Thursday morning.

Regardless, drivers should be careful in work zones, since there's no room for error.