By James Beaty
A slushy snow that moved into the McAlester area Wednesday morning caught many by surprise, since a number of weather forecasters had predicted only rain the day before.
A cold rain transitioned into snow early Wednesday, covering the ground and plants and making for some slick driving conditions in spots. At mid-morning, with a winter weather advisory in place for the McAlester area, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported area highways slick and hazardous “at the moment.”
A rollover accident was reported early Wednesday on U.S. Highway 69 toward Canadian, but no additional details were available early Wednesday.
At the Oklahoma Department of Transportation’s McAlester office, Superintendent Rick Huddleston also referred to the unexpected snow which fell on much of the McAlester area.
“It really wasn’t supposed to hit like this,” he noted. However, in response, crews with snow plows were dispatched around the area.
“We’re going to try and get it knocked off the bridges,” Huddleston said early Wednesday. Two ODOT crews headed north toward Eufaula on U.S. Highway 69, with other crews heading east and west of McAlester to cover areas including U.S. Highway 270, and others checking to the south.
ODOT also takes care of Carl Albert Parkway in McAlester, since it’s part of U.S. Highway 270.
Near 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, McAlester City Engineer John Modzelewski said the city had sent no street maintenance crews out in connection with the winter weather.
“The roads were passable and ‘travelable,’” Modzelewski said. “At this point in time we’re not doing anything.”
He also said the city had heard no reports about hazardous conditions on local streets from McAlester police, which is what usually triggers a response by the city’s street maintenance department.
Modzelewski also noted that weather forecasters had predicted the snow would change over to rain Wednesday afternoon.
“We’re ready to go if we have to,” Modzelewski said.
Contact James Beaty at email@example.com.
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