The Woodward News

Local News

February 22, 2013

Snowstorm keeps area busy

Woodward, Okla. — Note: Some information since this story first appeared.

Woodward Public Schools, High Plains Technology Center and Northwestern will not hold classes on Friday and the same holds true for a number of area schools.

The Class B Area 1 basketball games scheduled in Woodward for Friday have been moved to Arnett. The tournament will come back to Woodward on Saturday and Monday.

A snowstorm kept Northwest Oklahomans busy Thursday as it dumped several inches of snow across the area.

In Woodward, residents were seen sweeping snow off their cars, shoveling it off their driveways and sidewalks, plowing it off their streets and business parking lots, or just simply playing in it.

Woodward Emergency Manager Matt Lehenbauer said that northern Ellis, Harper, and Woodward counties all received an average of 9 to 12 inches of snow by early afternoon Thursday.  Some areas to the east, including Alfalfa and Woods counties,  received over a foot of snow, Lehenbauer said, while areas to the south, starting around Seiling and to the southeast, mainly received sleet.

The wintry precipitation made for some poor travel conditions, especially during periods of heavy snowfall during the early morning and again in the early afternoon.

"The primary issue was not so much accidents, but vehicles getting stuck or running off the roadway," Lehenbauer said.

However, by 2 p.m. Thursday the storm had essentially moved out of the region with only a chance of light flurries for the rest of the day, according to Lehenbauer.

But although the snow had stopped falling, the impact on travel conditions continued, he said.

"Our main concern is overnight as temperatures are supposed to be in the teens, which means that anything slushy is going to ice over," Lehenbauer said.  "That means the morning drive is more than likely going to be slippery."

While it was unclear Thursday afternoon just how icy the roads might become overnight as temperatures fell well below freezing, Lehenbauer said "even a tenth of an inch of ice can cause problems."

So he encouraged those traveling today to "check conditions early before you drive…(or) try to avoid travel until midday and we get some of this melted."

Warming temperatures today and into the weekend mean that "by Saturday things should look quite a bit better," Lehenbauer said.

Today's forecast calls for a high around 35, he said, with "45 to 50 degrees through the weekend."

In addition to being warmer, Lehenbauer said the weekend should also be drier.

"It's looking like things will be dry Friday, Saturday and Sunday," he said.  "There's a little bit of chance for snow Sunday night into Monday, but right now it's looking like really low chances."

The storm also caused a number of cancellations as school was out throughout the area, the Woodward County and City offices were closed and several basketball games postponed.

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