City Of Tulsa, EMSA Prepares For Cold Weather Weekend

Thursday, December 30th 2021, 9:35 pm

TULSA, Oklahoma -

The City of Tulsa is preparing for the freezing temperatures and possible freezing conditions. 

EMSA said you should re-think any outdoor plans.

Their main concern is this "true to winter" weather catching Tulsans by surprise since we had temperatures in the 70s earlier this week. Oklahomans were celebrating Christmas in shorts and t-shirts. Now, experts have a warning: winter weather is on its way. 

"If your body's not telling you anything, that's the most important thing it's telling you," said Adam Paluka, EMSA. 

Adam Paluka with EMSA said don't let the mild winter we've had so far deceive you.

"Below freezing is below freezing," said Paluka.

He said it's time to stock up on hats, gloves, winter coats, and thick wool socks, and he recommends keeping extra, dry sets handy.

EMSA will be on the lookout for cold exposure calls and hypothermia cases.

"Obviously, water and cold don't mix well, and that's what's gonna lead to hypothermia. But water's not just snow, sleet, freezing rain. Water also includes perspiration. Sweat," said Paluka.

Leon Kragel with the City of Tulsa reminds you to turn your sprinklers off and to let your faucets drip a small trickle should do the trick to prevent frozen pipes.

Kragel said the city has a crew of about 50 people on standby all weekend, beginning Friday at midnight. 

"I know we've got rain pushing up from the south and we've got the cold air coming from the north," said Leon Kragel, Street Maintenance Operations Manager.

Kragel says the city has received between 4 to 8 loads of pure salt a week since mid-summer.

He said one salt yard dome is completely full, the other location's dome is halfway full, plus there's an additional salt pile the city can pull from. 

Tulsa has 67 trucks total: 4 are brine trucks and 51 are mounted with plows. 

Kragel asks private businesses to avoid plowing excess snow and ice into public streets and said if you come across a truck to stay back. 

"If we have a dry period for say 3 to 6 hours, we will try to go pretreat with either our salt brine if that's capable, or use salt material," said Kragel. 

Kragel said snow is easier to handle than ice. 

"It creates lots of other issues. The trees, the powerlines. So, we never want to see the ice come in," said Kragel. 

The city focuses on busy streets, hills, bridges, overpasses, and downtown. 

Kragel said luckily the surface temperature of the roads is higher than normal due to our warmer winter weather.

Kragel said when water gets into the road, freezes, and expands it can create potholes. 

He told us they will put a temporary patch on all streets affected. 

You can also report a specific pothole to the city, and crews will come out and put in a more permanent patch, weather permitting.