Director Don Lynch, of Shawnee/Pottawatomie County Emergency Management, shed some light on what happened during this week's storm, urging residents to continue using caution on the roads — especially bridges — as the weather pattern continues to move through.

It's not over yet.

Director Don Lynch, of Shawnee/Pottawatomie County Emergency Management, shed some light on what happened during this week's storm, urging residents to continue using caution on the roads — especially bridges — as the weather pattern continues to move through.

“Timing of the impact of the storm during rush hour Wednesday night created flash freezing conditions on elevated surfaces, which made travel treacherous,” he said.

Shawnee and Pottawatomie County emergency services agencies were kept busy for a few hours responding to wrecks caused by the icy bridges and overpasses, he said.

The positioning of the storm system on Thursday morning brought temperatures right at or a degree or two above freezing off and on, causing the precipitation to mainly be freezing rain with occasional sleet mixed in, Lynch explained.

“Road conditions improved because the ground is still warm enough to keep the liquid precipitation from freezing at the surface, and slightly warmer temperatures helped keep the liquid from freezing on surfaces just above the ground,” he said.

Throughout Thursday there were several spots of water ponding on roadways; drivers are encouraged to use caution in these areas, especially through Friday morning, as these spots will tend to refreeze quickly as temperatures fall, Lynch said.

“The National Weather Service expects the storm system to continue to move east/southeast along the Red River,” he said. “The Freezing Line will also shift south and east causing the precipitation to change over to mostly snow later Thursday evening and continue through at least midday on Friday.”

Up to four inches of snow are possible across Central Oklahoma, he said.

“The snow — when mixing with the water on roadways — will create a slush, causing the roadways to be slick and hazardous,” Lynch warned.

Also, slushy conditions have a cooling effect on the surface temperatures of roadways, he said.

“This will potentially result in people waking up to road conditions on Friday morning that are more difficult to navigate than they were Thursday morning,” he said.

Lynch said motorists are urged to continue to exercise caution on the roadways.

Drivers should slow down and put extra distance between themselves and surrounding vehicles, he said. “Plan on leaving enough time to get where you have to go at the slower speed,” he said.

Preparation

He also recommends carrying a winter weather supplies kit in the car, which includes: a First Aid Kit, jumper cables, shovel, ice scraper, bag of sand or cat litter, blanket, cell phone charger, water and snacks, and extra coats, gloves and hats.

“Don’t forget to re-stock supplies you may have used during this storm so you will be ready for the next one,” he said.

Fortunately, Lynch said this storm should quickly exit over the weekend so residents can begin the recovery.

“Kudos to the city and county road crews who were busy keeping tabs on the road conditions and pre-treating/ treating surfaces as necessary,” he said.

Pet care

“We also remind people that pets and livestock will need extra care during the cold weather,” Lynch said. “Before starting your car, make noise to warn animals that may have been stuck outside and taken shelter utilizing a warm car engine or wheel well,” he said. “Animals need plenty of dry bedding, water and food.”