ROGERS COUNTY –– The Rogers County Commissioners and Oklahoma Department of Transportation officials are prepared for the wintry weather predicted by forecasters this weekend.
Rogers County residents can expect extreme colder temperatures as the threat of snow moves in.
Commissioners emphasized the importance of staying ahead of winter storms by equipping vehicles with plows and products used to reduce the impact of frozen precipitation on roads and bridges.
Commissioner Chair Dan DeLozier of District 1 said his crews began treating roads Wednesday. “We are ready. Even in a moment’s notice, we can get equipment ready or out on the roads if they start to get any accumulation. We will be out checking on road conditions and address what needs addressed to keep roads clear.”
District 3 Commissioner Ron Burrows said since his district switched to a salt-brine system, it allows them to stay ahead of potential weather but emphasized that although the county cannot control the weather, they can control how they respond to it.
The brine allows participating districts to pretreat three to four days ahead of a storm, which will stay in the pavement pores until activated by moisture. The salt-brine solution can withstand temperatures as cold as -6 degrees Fahrenheit. It is first dissolved in a large mixer using rock salt and water, then travels to large holding tanks, which dispenses into cylinder tanks that are loaded onto trucks.
One load of brine can cover 30 miles of a two lane road. Burrows said surrounding counties – Creek and Mayes – and local cities – Inola, Claremore and Catoosa – are filling up tanks with brine that his district is providing. “Under extreme weather conditions, we help. They pay for the salt while we make the brine.”
In District 2, “As we gear up for this weekend’s winter weather, our priority is to ensure the safety of our citizens. By preparing our salt and sand spreader trucks, we are taking measures to keep our roads clear and minimize any potential hazards,” Commissioner Steve Hendrix said.
District 2’s Foreman Benny King said they have all trucks and equipment ready to go. He said, “I will have crew out early in the morning and on call over the weekend.”
Cities, counties and states have specific responsibilities related to roads and bridges in their jurisdiction.
According to TJ Gerlach, Oklahoma Department of Transportation Public Information Officer, ODOT plows all parts of state designated highways, including through city or town limits. In Rogers County, this is US-412, US-169, SH-20, SH-28, SH-28A, SH-66, SH-88, SH-167, and SH-266. The Turnpike Authority plows I-44/Will Rogers Turnpike.
Gerlach stated, “ODOT and the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority will continually monitor weather
conditions ahead of this weekend’s predicted winter storms, and crews will be out a few hours before the storm is due to enter northeast Oklahoma.”
Both agencies’ trucks, he said, will be prepared for winter weather response with plows and spreaders loaded and salt sheds stocked. Crews will continue to work until all highways are considered clear, he said.
Gerlach recommended travelers that need to be on the roads during these adverse weather conditions, should reduce their speed, give plenty of space from other vehicles, and remain attentive.
Should you encounter snowplow, he urges you to give it room to operate by staying back at least 200 feet and do not pass it.
Additionally, travelers can check statewide highway conditions and closures on the DriveOklahoma mobile application or by checking www.okroads.org.