Art Lawler Staff Writer firstname.lastname@example.org
Mother Nature flexed her weather biceps over the weekend, resulting in a lot of slipping and sliding over county and state roads last weekend and Monday.
It caused a few minor collisions as well, not to mention one rollover that could have, but did not, result in tragedy.
As of mid-afternoon Monday, there had been no reports of anyone treated for weather-related injuries.
Pontotoc County Sheriff John Christian reported busy nights for deputies who answered calls throughout the county over the weekend.
Of all those wrecks — and there was no official count by late Monday — there were, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, only six that required a report.
Bill Wilkinson, a maintenance engineer for ODOT in Division 3, which covers Pontotoc and four other counties, said there were quite a few minor reports and that most of those came around the ramps and bridges, which are always the first to freeze.
Highway department workers were out in full force putting down salt in the usual hazardous locations. Problem was, it kept raining, and the rain diluted the salt, resulting in still more new precipitation to freeze.
"The temperature of the pavement in most of the county was 31 and 32 degrees, so the ground didn't freeze," he said.
"The cars and the ground raise the temperatures a few degrees." he pointed out. It's a different story on the ramps and bridges. When it gets down that low, those are the first to freeze, Wilkinson said.
Wilkinson also had "a left-handed compliment" for ice.
"When the roads get icy, most people slow down enough so that when vehicles do collide, they don't hit each other so hard," he said.
He also said whether a road freezes or not, is dependent on a lot of factors, like how cold or warm it was the previous day.
Bottom line, even though there were numerous fender benders and several people had to be helped out of ditches, most of the "wrecks weren't real bad."