Concern for drivers overnight and into Tuesday morning commute

Concern for drivers overnight and into Tuesday morning commute

LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - Temperatures continue to drop, bringing freezing rain. So Oklahoma Highway Patrol and the Oklahoma Department of Transportation are working all night to try and keep drivers in Southwest Oklahoma safe.

All day rain turning into freezing rain... and those roadways turning slick are some of the main concerns for ODOT.

“It’s hard to tell the difference between wet and icy sometimes and if you hit a slick spot at 65 mph, that’s not a good situation," said ODOT Division 7 Assistant Engineer for Maintenance Tray Terrill.

Crews did pre-treat roads with brine, but Terrill said the rain really made that ineffective... but division 7 crews will get back to work tonight with their salt and sand mix, and plows if there is enough accumulating.

“We’ll have them out in Caddo, Grady, Comanche Cotton and Stephens out all night looking for slick spots," said Terrill.

Now for OHP Troop G... their commander said with a limited number of troopers, they want people to be prepared in case they crash, and are stuck somewhere.

“If you have to get out make sure someone knows where you are going, make sure your phone is charged up. It wouldn’t hurt to put some extra clothing and a blanket in the car," said Troop G Commander Capt. John Paul.

They are already seeing a high volume and calls and expect that to get worse heading into the overnight hours, and when people head to work Tuesday morning.

“Most areas are just wet, starting to see some slush formation and that makes driving especially treacherous," said Capt. Paul.

Terrill said his team deals with a lot of winter weather, but this is the earliest he can remember dealing with.

“We still have a lot of foliage on the trees so if we have ice accumulation and all those leaves, that’s going to be a much heavier load.”

The foliage, and ice accumulation in general also creates a concern about power outages.

Crews from across Texas are parked here in Lawton for work across the state Tuesday.

He’s also emphasizing keeping two hundred feet between you and the ODOT trucks.. as they spew large amounts of sand and have an 11 foot blade attached to their trucks.

“If you decide to pass, just remember the conditions are worse in front of the truck than behind," said Terrill.

The advice is to be patient, as you’ll get there faster going slower than if you end up in a ditch.

There are easy ways to check road conditions, which OHP and ODOT expect to get much worse overnight.

You can download the Drive Oklahoma App or you can visit OKroads.org.

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