(AP with local reports) — Snow started falling Thursday in the Altus area and other parts of Oklahoma as residents worked to keep warm in frigid temperatures.
National Weather Service forecaster Daryl Williams said that although snow and freezing were seen throughout the day Thursday, the brunt of the storm was expected overnight and into today.
“The most substantial amounts will be later tonight, through the overnight hours and through tomorrow,” he said. Altus received approximately 4 inches.
Williams said chilly temperatures will be a concern. In the Altus area, temperatures are not expected to reach above freezing until Tuesday. The last time the area experienced a similar cold snap was in 1996, Williams said.Several local and area events have ben canceled, including Saturday’s Altus Christmas Parade. The parade has been scheduled for the next Sunday afternoon, Dec. 15. The parade line up will still begin at noon that day in the south parking lot of Western Oklahoma State College, with the parade set to start at 3 p.m. For more information or details about the parade, contact the Altus Chamber of Commerce. The Altus Times will publish a lineup for the parade next week.
Altus Schools, as well as all area schools, closed today. This includes Southwest Technology Center and Western Oklahoma State College. Non-estential personnel reported late to Altus Air Force Base today, and the Jackson County Courthouse and DHS both opened late.
The MacDowell Vespers Service scheduled for 6 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 5, at the First Presbyterian Church has been cancelled due to inclement weather.
Due to the threat of freezing and snowy weather, Western Oklahoma State College’s Annual Christmas Party for employees, emeriti and retired staff that was scheduled for Friday, Dec. 6 is postponed until Monday, Dec. 9 from 11:30 to 1 p.m. in the MPC.
The Joseph’s Closet “Kids Christmas Closet” set for Saturday has been rescheduled for Saturday, Dec. 14. The time will be 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 208 E. Cypress. Parents need to pick up a voucher for the kids at Operation CARE.
The Granite Hometown Christmas Celebration originally scheduled for Saturday has been canceled. However, the Greer County Bucks Drawing is still scheduled to start at 9 a.m. that day in downtown Granite. (For other closings, cancellations or rescheduling of events due to the weather, check the Altus Times website at www.altustimes.com. Notices will be posted/updated as we receive them.)
Elsewhere in the state, it was unclear what impact the chilly temperatures would have on day-to-day activities.
Oklahoma officials say roads in much of the state are reported to be slick and hazardous following winter storms across Oklahoma.
The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety says travel is discouraged in the eastern two-thirds of the state because of slick and hazardous roads caused by snow and sleet. Troop G in southern Oklahoma reports that the H.E. Bailey Turnpike was “extremely slick and hazardous” at about 5 a.m. today.
In northeast Oklahoma, crews are plowing and treating the roadways but many areas including the Interstate 44 Will Rogers Turnpike and the U.S. 412 Cherokee Turnpike are slick.
Roads are in better shape in western Oklahoma and the Panhandle, but remain slick in spots.
Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City and Tulsa International Airport remained open Friday but some flights were delayed or canceled because of the weather.