Thawing out: Pottawatomie County moves forward after winter storm

Elisabeth Slay
The Shawnee News-Star
The main roads in Pottawatomie County are better and while the side roads are still slick they continue to improve as the winter weather goes away.
The main roads in Pottawatomie County are better and while the side roads are still slick they continue to improve as the winter weather goes away.

After several days of extreme winter weather, Pottawatomie County is beginning to move forward and continues to repair any damages from the winter storm.

According to County Emergency Manager Chad Larman, the county is removing snow from roads and all main thoroughfares were cleared Thursday.

"Roads should continue to improve through the weekend as temperatures are forecasted to get above freezing hopefully," Larman said.

He explained there continues to be water issues in Shawnee, Tecumseh and Maud.

The city of Shawnee has been working to repair several water main breaks that have impacted many local residences and even local nursing homes.

According to April Lopez, the director of nursing at Colonial Estates of Shawnee, because of the water line breaks, the facility has been utilizing its emergency water on back up.

However, Lopez said, for the most part it has been business as usual and the facility's administrator has helped employees get to work and receive food during the winter storm.

She explained both residents and staff are looking forward to the snow and ice melting.

In addition, according Theresa Green, spokesperson for the Regency in Shawnee, like many other businesses and homes in the area, that facility did experience issues due to the cold.

"We experienced an issue with a water pipe in a non-resident area of the home earlier this week, but it was quickly addressed, and we were fortunate that resident care and facility operations were not affected by it," Green said. 

She said the facility would like to thank the Regency team for their hard work and dedication to the residents during the storm.

"We would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to all essential service workers in our community who have done so much to help keep all of us warm and safe during this severe winter storm," Green said. 

Larman said as the county moves forward, it will continue to recover from the winter storm.

"There should be no real long-term effects around the county; cities may continue to have issues with water, but once the issues are located, corrected, and water towers fill up, this should correct the water pressure," Larman said.

The emergency manger explained pipes in individual homes will continue to thaw and once that process begins, there could be more water line breaks due to the expansion of those pipes.

In addition, Larman said President Biden has approved the Disaster Declaration for all 77 counties in Oklahoma.

"We will continue to work with the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security on this topic and give an update once we have more information," Larman said.

Check back for updates.

Kamdyn and Kynleigh enjoy the snow in Pottawatomie County and make snow angels.