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December 6, 2013

Winter blast brings snow, ice to Pontotoc County

Ada —

 It's hunker-down time for the next several days in Pontotoc County.

 The most positive definition for the weather could be "awful."

 However, weather forecasters at the National Weather Service in Norman, while expressing mild surprise at the blanket of snow that covered iced-over Pontotoc County early Friday morning, were glad to see it.

  The snow won't make the ice go away, but it will cover it up, giving motorists slightly more traction.

 The good news is that it's much less a threat to the county's trees and power lines than ice weighing down the limbs and lines, resulting in power outages.

 Don't get crazy now. The roads will still be slick, just hidden.

  District 2 County Commissioner Gary Starns and his workers were busy pulling one of their own trucks out of a ditch Friday morning.

 He said the heavier precipitation had fallen in the north and the east portions of the county.

 "We've been out since 6 a.m., with five trucks putting down sand on the bridges,” he said.

 Before they could put down the sand, though, Starns had to move two of his trucks, which have scrapers, to clear the ice off the bridges. His plans were to put down the sand before the continuing precipitation could cover up the bridges again.

  The truck that went into a ditch, he said, had the blade attached to the front. 

 "You really have to watch when you're blading along, because it can push you off in there,” Starns said.

 Commissioners in the other two districts, Randy Floyd (2) and Justin Roberts (3) were not immediately available for comment at press time.

Snow and ice

The wintry blast began as an ice storm, then turned into a snowstorm.

 "It rolled over to snow in Norman about 6 p.m. (Thursday) and began falling on top of the ice," said Daryl Williams, a forecaster at that Weather Service in Norman.

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