Break in winter weather coming

Jan. 24—The National Weather Service on Tuesday showed rain continuing through Wednesday night, but temperatures remaining above the freezing mark. That plus predictions of sunshine and temperatures in the mid-50s is welcome news for area residents.

Freezing temperatures that turned falling rain into ice late Sunday through Monday afternoon found road state, county and city road workers toiling through the night in some instances, and on into the daylight hours. County schools were also closed.

District 1 Commissioner Dan DeLozier, who oversees the northeastern part of the county, said he and other officials and workers always drive routes to monitor conditions all across the county ahead of any potential ice, with crews on standby.

This week's winter conditions saw the Oklahoma Highway Patrol working crashes and road closures, mostly in the southern part of the county.

A tractor trailer jack-knifed near the Port entrance on 266, and icy conditions brought OHP units to an incident about three miles east of Inola on U.S. 412 near South 4230 Road. Five tractor trailers and three passenger vehicles were unable to make it up the hill. The westbound lanes were closed for over four hours, reopening around 7 a.m. Monday.

"Ice is harder to treat and slows the process down tremendously," DeLozier said. "Crews were driving 20-25 mph due to the conditions."

Many residents discovered their own front driveways were among the slickest places.

"It's wet and slick, and you can quote me on that," Emergency Management Director Scottie Stokes said late Monday. "The cold hung around a little longer than national weather service thought it would. Our road sign crews have been busy chasing road signs that have been pushed over."

Police Chief Steve Cox reported a few fender benders but nothing serious inside the city of Claremore.