Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

December 27, 2012

Chilly surprise again makes holiday visit

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat

bporterfield@pvdemocrat.com — Garvin County, along with much of the state and region, got yet another holiday surprise as a winter storm complete with ice, sleet and some snow passed through on Christmas Day.

Much like years past with other Christmas storms this one did its best to dampen the spirit by making it dangerously slick out there for motorists and just about anyone choosing to take a short stroll outside.

Even with the slippery conditions it could have been far worse, according to Garvin County Emergency Management Director Bud Ramming.

“We didn’t get the snow like they had forecast,” Ramming said on Wednesday.

“We did get enough to make the roads pretty slick,” he said. “If they drive with caution and take it slow they can get to and from where they need to be safely.”

As for the major roadways in the county, Ramming said they were for the most part OK one day after the storm. As usual with a storm like this the real slick spots stuck around longer on the smaller side roads making them tough to travel over the past couple of days.

“It’s extremely slick on those side roads so people just need to drive slow and give themselves plenty of distance from other vehicles,” Ramming said.

In the Elmore City area Ramming said there was from one half to an inch of snow, while just about all areas of the county got some freezing rain and sleet.

Once all the winter moisture did arrive on Tuesday there were a number of vehicles reported to have slid off the icy roads in Garvin County. None were believed to have been major accidents, he said.

This storm may be long gone but preparation for its arrival actually started days earlier.

Fire departments in the county and crews in the three county commissioner districts had done things like check generators to make sure they worked if needed.

Plans were also in place to set up emergency shelters throughout the county, which in the end weren’t needed.

“We’re always prepared for anything that could happen,” Ramming said. “Fire departments in the county were on stand by to assist any stranded motorists, and the county commissioners and their people were busy sanding the roads.

“Everybody knew it was coming. Everybody was prepared for it. If it had been worse we would have been ready.”

Even with temperatures warming up just a bit every day and the melting of ice well underway, motorists are still encouraged to use caution, especially at night with the winter cold dipping back down.

“People need to remember that when it does melt it will refreeze at night. They’ve got to look for black ice on the roads. It may look perfectly fine but be real slick and dangerous,” Ramming said.

He encourages motorists driving after dark to not only be cautious but have emergency kits in case they get stranded.