The Oklahoma Department of Transportation’s Pittsburg County office in McAlester, crews have been working 12-hour shifts since early Christmas morning.
“We came in about 6 a.m. on Tuesday,” said office Superintendent Rick Huddleston. “Because of rain and 33 degree temperatures, it could turn to ice.”
Although the temperatures then warmed slightly, it gave highway crews a chance to try and get a jump on the forecasted sleet and snow.
“We went out and pretreated the bridges,” Huddleston said. “It started sleeting and we started sanding and trying to blade it off.” Snow soon started falling as well.
“As soon as we would blade it off, it would pile up behind us,” Huddleston said.
“We had one crew that came in at 6 a.m. (Tuesday) and went home at 6 that night,” Huddleston said.
“Another crew came in and worked from 6 Tuesday night to 6 this morning and the day crew is here now,” Huddleston said early Wednesday. “They’re out salting and sanding everything so when the sun hits it, it will start breaking up.”
The ODOT crews cover Carl Albert Parkway, the George Nigh Expressway and South and North Main Streets in McAlester, as well as state and U.S. Highways in Pittsburg County.
Huddleston said that a glaze of ice was still on many parts of the highways early Wednesday. “We’re doing the best we can with the situation that we’re in,” Huddleston said.
Contact James Beaty at email@example.com.
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