Tulsa Area Endures Wintry Weather

Tuesday, January 27th 2009, 11:43 am
By: News On 6

By Dan Bewley, News On 6

TULSA, OK -- It's safe to say much of the City of Tulsa was shut down on Tuesday.  Empty parking lots and bare streets were visible most everywhere.  The eastern leg of the IDL offered tough conditions that challenged drivers throughout the day.  From Highway 169 to Highway 75 and points west, the weather made a challenging day for Tulsans.

Freezing rain and snow covered Tulsa on Tuesday, as temperatures dipped into the low 20s.  Abandoned cars were left by the roadside.  And, businesses shut their doors.  Even the always busy Woodland Hills Mall closed for the day.

Drivers stayed away from the major highways. Outside Tulsa City Limits, there was also a mess.

Bob Kennedy snapped pictures of eight cars, either flipped over or stuck off the side of West 81st Street in Creek County, luckily no one was seriously hurt.  It all happened over a half-hour time frame late Monday afternoon.

"Yesterday the freezing rain, the wind was just whipping across there and in just a few minutes it was, you could hardly even stand on it," said Bob Kennedy.

The nasty weather has city officials on alert.  Tulsa Transit only worked snow routes, meaning the buses stayed on the main streets and never ventured into the neighborhoods.         

The Red Cross says, so far, there's no need for shelters in Tulsa but they do need blood and are asking for donations.

And the Tulsa Police Department is urging neighbors to check on neighbors, especially those who may be vulnerable to cold weather.

"Check on the elderly, check on the disabled, check on all those people who might not be able to make contact outside of their home," said Tulsa Police Officer Jason Willingham.

While city crews spent the day dropping salt and sand on Tulsa's streets, they kept one eye on the temperature. The salt mixture doesn't work if it drops below 20 degrees.

It may not be as bad as ice storm 2007, but still a rough day across Tulsa. 

The Red Cross has two locations where you can donate blood, 71st and Memorial and their main building at 11th Street and Highway 169.  They're looking for all types and say an appointment is not necessary.

You can track the storms with WARN Interactive Radar and get safety tips in our Storm Zone Section.

You can get the latest WARN Team forecast in the NewsOn6.com Weather section.