With the potential for unprecedented winter weather in the coming days, Stillwater’s Public Works, Public Safety, Emergency Management, Waste Management and Electric Utility departments are making sure they are ready to respond.
If winter precipitation hits, Public Works will follow the City’s snow and ice removal plan. “Crews will be plowing snow in 12-hour shifts, 24 hours a day until the snow has passed and roads are clear,” Public Works Director Mark White said. Their first priority will be clearing sections of Main Street, Duck Street, Boomer Road, Washington Street and Downtown Stillwater to provide access to Stillwater Medical Center’s Emergency Room, fire stations, the Stillwater Regional Airport, Stillwater Public Schools and Oklahoma State University. Then crews will begin clearing heavily traveled (usually four-lane) streets before moving on to selected busy, non-residential streets that provide access to major roadways. Hazardous road conditions may cause a delay in emergency service response time.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) is responsible for maintaining State Highway 51 (6th Avenue) and U.S. Route 177 (Washington Street to Richmond Road to Perkins Road). Oklahoma State University is responsible for all streets and sidewalks within its border, except for sections of Hall of Fame Avenue and Western Road.
Due to the generally short duration of snow and ice accumulations in central Oklahoma, the City of Stillwater has purchased a limited number of snow-removal vehicles and equipment. City crews do not have the resources to clear residential streets or driveways blocked by plowed snow. Residents should be prepared to not be able to leave their homes.
Current forecasts predict extreme wind chills in the -20 to -30 degree category. “Frost bite is a real issue this weekend,” Emergency Management Director Rob Hill said. “These temperatures will be very dangerous, even if you are only outside for 15 to 20 minutes.” Stay updated on weather alerts and warnings through Stillwater Emergency Management’s Facebook and Twitter pages: @StwSEMA.
The Mission of Hope has temporarily entered Emergency Weather Status to help people find shelter from the freezing temperatures. Under this status, people do not need to have an ID or Social Security number. Due to it being a family shelter, those registered as sex offenders will not be allowed to stay.
Waste Management Director Chris Knight said if the weather is severe enough, residents could see a delay in trash and storm debris collection services. “Our crews will do their best to perform their normal collection; however, residents should keep an eye on the City website for cancellations and information about when we will be able to make up the service.”
Stillwater Electric Utility has crews on standby to address potential power outages. If you experience an outage, report and track it to correction online at Stillwater.org/reportpoweroutage or call 405.372.3292. The City reminds residents to ensure the phone numbers associated with their utility and billing accounts are up-to-date. Stillwater’s online outage reporting tool uses these numbers when tracking and correcting outages.
Tips During Winter Weather
· Stay off roads if at all possible. If you must travel, drive slowly and use extra caution when driving over bridges and overpasses.
· Limit your time outside. If you need to go outside, then wear layers of warm clothing.
· Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia and begin treatment right away.
· Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Only use generators and grills outdoors and away from windows. Never heat your home with a gas stovetop or oven.
· Reduce the risk of a heart attack. Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow.
· Check on neighbors. Older adults and young children are more at risk in extreme cold.
· City of Stillwater’s Snow & Ice Removal Plan
· Oklahoma Road Conditions (Click to access map) / 888.425.2385
· Stillwater’s City Hotline: 405.533.8533
· Report local power outages / 405.372.3292
· Mission of Hope / 1804 S Perkins Rd, Stillwater, OK, United States / 405.332.5521