LAWTON, OK (KSWO) –The City of Lawton's Public Works Department is working around the clock in hopes of staying ahead of the flooding, sleet, and ice predicted to fall over the weekend.
Crews started prepping for Sunday's extreme conditions, making sure their sand trucks and stockpile of sand were ready to go. They say as soon as the ice starts to fall, you'll see them on the city's main roads working to make them safer for drivers.
While road conditions are ideal for now, Streets Department Superintendent Cliff Haggenmiller says his guys are bracing for the worst.
"As soon as we get any type of forecast that's going to indicate severe weather, we try to get everything prepared for whatever the case may be," Haggenmiller said.
Thursday morning, Haggenmiller said workers started their day by making sure the lights on their trucks and safety equipment were all in working order, before making sure the prepared sand is just right.
"We got to a one-to-one ratio with the salt and then the sand. The sand just gives you traction while the salt is doing the work, it's actually melting the ice. So, the sand is just there for the few moments to give the car traction until the salt can start working through the ice itself," Haggenmiller explained.
Haggenmiller says even with treated roads, it still takes time for the sand to melt the ice. He says depending on where you are, proceed with caution.
"Unfortunately, we are unable to cover residential areas. What we try to maintain is the arterials. That's Lee Boulevard, Gore, Sheridan and so on. So, it is going to be slick in your residential areas," Haggenmiller said.
Haggenmiller says with Oklahoma weather being unpredictable, his crews will monitor and adjust as updates become available. He says the safety of drivers is their priority.
While you're at home enjoying the holidays, Haggenmiller says his guys will be looking out for your safety.
"In the case of snow and ice, we have crews that are on standby and prepared for the call. It doesn't matter if it's Christmas or New Year's or whatever the case may be, they understand that this is part of the job," Haggenmiller said.
If you have to be out over the weekend, double check on Oklahoma or Texas road conditions before heading out. ODOT has a new interactive map and you can call them at 844-465-4997 for current Oklahoma road conditions. Remember to give salt and sand trucks at least 50 feet of space to work.
If you have an Apple or Android device, this is a great time to download our SkyWARN 7 weather app.