Highway Conditions Alert 2-17-21 as of 8 p.m.
Mike Seals - February 17, 2021 10:58 pm
Precipitation has largely ended for this winter weather event but highways are still slick in spots, meaning drivers need to be aware of the hazards and drive accordingly. Oklahoma Department of Transportation crews remain out in these areas clearing and treating as needed.
All areas that experienced snow and ice melt this afternoon are at risk of having the runoff refreeze as temperatures remain below freezing this evening. This will cause travel issues tonight and during Thursday morning’s commute.
Due to continued extremely low temperatures, dangerous and life-threatening situations could occur should drivers become stranded in this winter weather event.
More heavily-traveled thoroughfares likely have at least one driving lane cleared, motorists should not become overconfident on these stretches as intermittent slick patches can still be present. Bridges can still be slick and ramps might be snow packed on these highways as well. Drivers need to remain aware and drive for conditions.
Plowing operations continue in central Oklahoma including the Oklahoma City metro, in eastern Oklahoma including the Tulsa metro and in areas of south-eastern Oklahoma. Conditions range from snow-packed to slushy with slick conditions reported. ODOT crews will continue these removal operations and treat with salt and sand until all lanes are clear, which will take time. Drivers should do their part for safety by giving highway crews plenty of room to maneuver and staying at least 200 feet behind those vehicles.
Highways in western and north-central Oklahoma have improved today, however some isolated slick areas and slush remain. Clear conditions are reported in the Panhandle.
If travel is necessary tonight, drivers should be alert to black ice conditions, which are a thin layer of moisture on roadways which can quickly turn to ice, especially as temperatures remain well below freezing. Also, some highways and interstates may not have all lanes cleared at this time, and drivers should plan for extra travel time in these temporarily limited corridors.
Overall travel conditions are not expected to improve until after temperatures rise.
Current highway and interstate conditions can be viewed with an interactive map at https://www.okroads.org and also on the Drive Oklahoma mobile app.
REMEMBER during snowy and icy conditions, if travel is absolutely necessary, drivers should:
- Stay about 200 feet behind road clearing equipment; crews need room to maneuver and can engage plowing or spreading materials without notice.
- Allow extra space between vehicles to provide adequate distance for braking.
- Be patient and allow extra time in reaching destinations.
Next update will be at 8 p.m. Wednesday.
To check CURRENT ROAD CONDITIONS in Oklahoma, call
ODOT’s ROAD CONDITIONS HOTLINE at 844-4OK-HWYS (844-465-4997)
or go to www.okroads.org or follow ODOT on Twitter @OKDOT
For turnpike information, call the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority at 877-403-7623 or go to www.pikepass.com.