A significant winter storm is likely Sunday and Monday. Please check https://www.weather.gov/tsa/ frequently for updated conditions. Accumulating snow could begin Sunday with the heaviest accumulation expected Sunday night into Monday morning. In addition, gusty north winds and the dry nature of this snow will lead to significant blowing and drifting. Most of the area can expect several inches by Monday.
- 4 to 8 inches of snow is expected across the area by Monday afternoon.
- Heaviest snow accumulations will be across eastern Oklahoma.
- Gusty north winds throughout the event will result in significant drifting and blowing snow resulting in some city streets & roads becoming impassable, especially east west roads. Expect snow drifts to be several feet deep in spots with drifts expected to migrate across less traveled and treated roadways.
- Dangerous wind chills are expected through much of the event.
- Wind chills Sunday and Monday morning are expected to drop into the negative range for a vast majority of the area.
PREPARE YOUR HOMES, VEHICLES, CARE FOR ANIMALS
Before the storm hits, make sure your home, office, and vehicles are stocked with the supplies you might need. Make sure farm animals and pets also have the essentials they will need during a winter storm.
Your primary concerns at home or work during a winter storm are loss of heat, power and telephone service, and a shortage of supplies if storm conditions continue for more than a day. In either place, you should have available:
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Battery-powered NOAA Weather Radio and portable radio to receive emergency information.
- Extra food and water such as dried fruit, nuts, granola bars and other food requiring no cooking or refrigeration.
- Extra prescription medicine
- Baby items such as diapers and formula
- First-aid supplies
- Heating fuel: refuel before you are empty; fuel carriers may not reach you for days after a winter storm.
- Emergency heat source: fireplace, wood stove or space heater properly ventilated to prevent a fire.
- Fire extinguisher, smoke alarm; test smoke alarms monthly to ensure they work properly.
- Extra pet food and warm shelter for pets
- Never run a generator in an enclosed space
- Make sure your carbon monoxide detector is working correctly and that the outside vent is clear of leaves and debris. During or after the storm, make sure it is cleared of snow.
- Home fires are common each winter when trying to stay warm. Review ways to keep your home and loved ones safe.
Each year, on average, more than 5,000 people are killed and more than 418,000 are injured due to weather-related vehicle crashes. If you need to drive in snow or cold conditions, TAKE IT SLOW. Black ice can be difficult to see. If the temperature is near freezing, drive like you're on ice--you could be!
Before you leave the house, especially before a longer trip in winter, make sure all fluid levels are full and ensure that the lights, heater and windshield wipers are in proper condition. Keep your gas tank near full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines. Avoid traveling alone. Let someone know your timetable and primary and alternate routes. Check https://idrivearkansas.com/ for current road conditions.
Carry a Winter Storm Survival Kit that includes the following:
- Mobile phone, charger, batteries
- Blankets/sleeping bags
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- First-aid kit
- High-calorie, non-perishable food
- Extra clothing to stay dry
- Large empty can to use as emergency toilet, tissues, toilet paper and paper towels
- Small can and waterproof matches to melt snow for drinking water
- Sack of sand or cat litter for traction
- Windshield scraper and brush
- Tool kit
- Tow rope
- Battery booster cables
- Water container
- Candle and matches to provide light and in an emergency, lifesaving heat.
- Compass and road maps, don't depend on mobile devices with limited battery life
On the Farm, Pet Owners
- Move animals to sheltered areas or bring pets inside. Shelter belts, properly laid out and oriented, are better protection for cattle than confining shelters, such as sheds.
- Haul extra feed to nearby feeding areas.
- Have water available. Most animals die from dehydration in winter storms.
- Make sure pets have plenty of food and water and a warm shelter.
If you need to drive in snow or cold conditions, TAKE IT SLOW. Black ice can be difficult to see. If the temperature is near freezing, drive like you're on ice--you could be! Give yourself extra room to stop, including stopping at traffic lights. If snow is piled on the lights, other drivers may not be able to see if the light is red or green. Drive cautiously.
Make sure you have your winter survival kit in your vehicle. This kit should include non-perishable food, water, blankets, a car charger, charged battery pack for your phone. Additional good items to have include a battery powered radio, shovel, and sand.
If you don’t HAVE to get out, please don’t. However, if you must travel, plan ahead. Allow for extra time to get to your destination, drive slow, and leave plenty of space between you and the car in front of you. Make sure other people know your travel plans and know how to contact you. Travel in a convoy with other vehicles if possible. Ensure a full tank of gas.
Keep a survival kit in your vehicle. This kit should include non-perishable food, water, blankets, a car charger, charged battery pack for your phone. Additional good items to have include a battery powered radio, shovel, and sand. If you get into trouble, it could be an extended time before help can arrive. Stay in your vehicle if you become stranded. Tie a bright colored cloth to the antenna so rescuers can find you. Run the engine occasionally for heat making sure to keep the exhaust pipe clear. Open windows occasionally for fresh air.
SPACE HEATER/GENERATOR SAFETY
With the cold weather being at our doorstep, many people use portable space heaters inside their homes as a source of heat. Please remember to take these precautions to keep you and your family safe. ALWAYS HAVE A CARBON MONOXIDE ALARM IN YOUR HOME
Space Heater Safety Tips
- Read the manufacturer’s instruction before using any space heater.
- Check the cord for any damage prior to plugging it into the outlet.
- Do not use space heaters with extension cords.
- Keep at least 3 feet away from anything can catch fire, such as bedding, curtains, furniture, clothing or paper.
- Place space heaters on a flat surface
- Never leave the space heater unattended
- Heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fires.
- 32% of home heating fires and 82% of home heating fire deaths are caused by space heaters.
- For more information and tips visit www.holidaysafety.org
- Always keep your generator outside, never move it inside the home, on the garage or on your porch
- Keep your generator at least 15 feet away from open windows, or doors.
- Carbon monoxide is released from the generator and can fill up your home in a matter of minutes.
- Keep your generator dry and on a dry surface under an open structure.
- Turn off the generator and let it cool before fueling, NEVER fill while it is running. It can spark and gas can explode.
- Never try to power your home by plugging the generator into a wall outlet.
- For more information and tips visit www.energy.gov)
Hypothermia is caused by prolonged exposures to very cold temperatures. When exposed to cold temperatures, your body begins to lose heat faster than it’s produced. Lengthy exposures will eventually use up your body’s stored energy, which leads to lower body temperature.
Body temperature that is too low affects the brain, making the victim unable to think clearly or move well. This makes hypothermia especially dangerous, because a person may not know that it’s happening and won’t be able to do anything about it.
Victims of hypothermia are often: older adults with inadequate food, clothing, or heating, babie sleeping in cold bedrooms, people who remain outdoors for long periods—the homeless, hikers, hunters, etc., people who drink alcohol or use illicit drugs.
Warning signs of hypothermia:
Adults: shivering, exhaustion or feeling very tired, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech, drowsiness
Babies: bright red, cold skin, very low energy
Hypothermia is a medical emergency. If you notice any of the above signs, take the person’s temperature. If it is below 95° F, get medical attention immediately!
If you are not able to get medical help right away, try to warm the person up.
- Get the person into a warm room or shelter.
- Remove any wet clothing the person is wearing.
- Warm the center of the person’s body—chest, neck, head, and groin—using an electric blanket, if available. You can also use skin-to-skin contact under loose, dry layers of blankets, clothing, towels, or sheets.
- Warm drinks can help increase body temperature, but do not give alcoholic drinks. Do not try to give beverages to an unconscious person.
- After body temperature has increased, keep the person dry and wrap their body, including their head and neck, in a warm blanket.
- Get the person proper medical attention as soon as possible.
- A person with severe hypothermia may be unconscious and may not seem to have a pulse or to be breathing. In this case, handle the person gently, and get emergency assistance immediately. Perform CPR, even if the person appears dead. CPR should continue until the person responds or medical aid becomes available. Keep warming the person while performing CPR. In some cases, hypothermia victims who appear to be dead can be successfully resuscitated.
Frostbite is a type of injury caused by freezing. It leads to a loss of feeling and color in the areas it affects, usually extremities such as the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, and toes. Frostbite can permanently damage the body, and severe cases can lead to amputation (removing the affected body part).
You may have a greater chance of developing frostbite if you have poor blood circulation or are not properly dressed for extremely cold temperatures. If you notice redness or pain in any skin area, get out of the cold or protect any exposed skin—frostbite may be beginning.
Signs of frostbite: white or grayish-yellow skin area, skin that feels unusually firm or waxy, numbness, a person who has frostbite may not know they have it until someone else points it out because the frozen parts of their body are numb.
Don’t wait—take action! If you notice signs of frostbite on yourself or someone else, seek medical care. Check to see if the person is also showing signs of hypothermia.
If (1) a person shows signs of frostbite, but no signs of hypothermia and (2) immediate medical care is not available, do the following:
- Get the person into a warm room as soon as possible.
- Unless absolutely necessary, do not walk on feet or toes that show signs of frostbite—this increases the damage.
- Do not rub the frostbitten area with snow or massage it at all. This can cause more damage.
- Put the areas affected by frostbite in warm—not hot—water (the temperature should be comfortable to the touch for unaffected parts of the body).
- If warm water is not available, warm the affected area using body heat. For example, you can use the heat of an armpit to warm frostbitten fingers.
- Do not use a heating pad, heat lamp, or the heat of a stove, fireplace, or radiator for warming. Affected areas are numb and can easily burn.
- Don’t substitute these steps for proper medical care. Frostbite should be checked by a health care provider. And remember, Hypothermia is a medical emergency and immediate medical care is necessary.
Prevent Freezing/Busted Pipes In Your Home
- Keep garage doors closed, especially if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing, especially if your sinks are on an exterior wall. (If you have small children, be sure to remove any harmful cleaners and household chemicals.)
- Let water slowly drip from a faucet. Running water through the pipe—even at a trickle—helps prevent pipes from freezing.
- Protect your water meter box. Use insulation to create a tent over the water meter box in your yard.
- If you plan to be away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 60° F.
CREWS WORKING ROADS:
City crews are prepping for winter weather and will work to remove any snow buildup. However, with snow and wind expected, there’s a chance that snow could be blown back over the road and intersection after plowing. Crews will focus on main streets/roads first. Once primary streets and roads are clear and remain clear, crews may move to secondary roads.
Primary Snow Removal Routes
Plows- All of Mt. Olive, University, Holly, north of 412 , Tulsa, Dogwood, north of 412, Tahlequah all the way to Hwy 59, E. Main, Ravenwood Plaza from E. Main to Progress, Progress Ave., Broadway, Hico, Cheri Whitlock, All of Kenwood, Jefferson, Washington, north of 412.
Primary Sand & Brine Application Areas
Hills/Bridges- Mt. Olive hills and bridge, University hill by JBU, E. Main hill and bridge, Dogwood hill and bridge, 412 overpass, Hico hill and bridge, E. Tahlequah hill and bridge, Broadway hill, Washington hill, Maxwell hill, two large hills in Country Acres, Lincoln overpass
Intersections- Mt. Olive and Cheri Whitlock, Mt. Olive and Tahlequah, Mt. Olive and University, Mt. Olive and Jefferson, Mt. Olive and Tulsa, Mt. Olive and 412, Mt. Olive and Kenwood, Mt. Olive and Twin Springs, E. Main and Broadway, E. Main and University, Broadway and Alpine, Main and Maxwell, Main and Hico, Main and Lincoln, Main and 412, Cheri Whitlock and Britt, Cheri Whitlock and Hico, Cheri Whitlock and Lincoln, Cheri Whitlock and Dogwood, Cheri Whitlock and Carl, Cheri Whitlock and Country Club, Cheri Whitlock and Progress, Ravenwood Blvd and Ravenwood Plaza, Ravenwood Blvd and E. Main, Ravenwood Plaza and Progress, Ravenwood Plaza and E. Main, Holly and University, Holly and Jefferson, Holly and Tulsa, Holly and 412, 412 and Carl, 412 and Elm, 412 and Washington, Carl and 43, Carl and Cheri Whitlock, Carl and Garland, Carl and Elgin, Tahlequah and Hico, Tahlequah and Lincoln, Tahlequah and Country Club, Tahlequah and Progress.
HOW TO NOTIFY ABOUT NO ELECTRICITY:
The city is preparing for snow, ice, and extremely cold weather. However, there’s a chance snow buildup, ice or other conditions could cause power outages. All crews are on standby and prepared to respond to needs as soon as possible.
Notify the electric department during business hours of a power outage at 479-524-3777. After hours, please call the non-emergency police department line at 479-524-4118 extension 5 or 479-524-4110.
HOLD ON TO RECYCLING:
If possible, please hold on to your recycling until next week. We’re hoping to minimize routes for our drivers and keep vehicles off the road. If your bin is full you may go ahead and place it on the curb for pickup.