McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

March 3, 2014

Storm leaves city iced over

Senior Editor

McALESTER — City of McAlester workers said Monday they expected it would take awhile to clear city streets of ice, snow and sleet — and they need some help from Mother Nature.

“We’re probably going to be battling this thing for the next couple of days,” said City Operations Supervisor Timmy Don Adams.

While temperatures hovered into the single digits early Monday, Adams said, “There’s not a lot we can do with the temperatures the way they are now.”

City crews have put some salt on the intersections Monday. They were also concerned that the salt would melt some of the surface area to only have it freeze again.

Although tempertures were forcasted to climb to only around 23 or 24 degrees Monday, Adams said the sunshine could be helpful.

“We’re hoping Mother Nature will help us out,” he said.

City crews needed that help Monday, because due to the type of the precipitation that fell and the extremely low temperatures, blading the streets at that point would not be affective, Adams said.

It would likely make it worse, he said.

“You’re not going to cut that ice,” Adams said.

He said the first layer of ice has adhered to the pavement.

“You’ve got snow on top of ice,” he said.

Scraping off the top layer of snow and sleet would leave the ice exposed, he said comparing the result to an ice skating rink.

City of McAlester workers came in Sunday and made sure everything was prepared for Monday.

“Moisture was still falling,” Adams said. “We got everything prepped and ready.”

During the coming budget year, Adams hopes to have chemicals on hand to add to the rock salt to make it more affective even in temperatures as low as 10 below zero.

City crews plan to work throughout the day Monday and into the night.

“I will have a crew stay until 10 p.m.” in case of any emergencies, Adams said.