LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - December 24, 2009, Lawtonians will remember nearly a foot of snow across the city, and more than that in other areas. A blizzard left many travelers stuck for the holiday, many having to abandon their cars right in the middle of the road.
In fact, the roads were so bad, a Lawton Police Captain at the time, urged people to keep from contacting police.
“If you have just a what we call a fender bender a minor accident exchange information with the other driver and contact us later and we’ll do a report then,” said Captain Rusty Wright, addressing residents a decade ago.
The record setting storm produced about four to eight inches of snow across Wichita Falls, up through Oklahoma City and Stillwater. There were times that winds sustained at 40 mph and gusted up to 60.
The full brunt of the 2009 Christmas Eve Blizzard was not recognizable until the hours leading up to it. The morning of the 23rd, forecasters saw the storm would last a bit longer and produce more snow.
But as they continued to track it, the National Weather Service in Norman upgraded the watch to a Winter Storm Warning, that would later turn into a Blizzard Warning. The impacts of the storm were significant. The National Weather Service reports at least nine fatalities related to the blizzard, with hundreds of injuries.
The National Guard was even called in to rescue stranded motorists.