Law enforcement agencies were working multiple vehicle crashes Wednesday as road conditions continued to worsen.
Tahlequah Police Chief Nate King said officers had been mostly working single-vehicle crashes as of Wednesday morning.
“The main roadways through Tahlequah are passable, but if you get off the them, it’s pretty bad,” said King. “Even if you make it to where you’re going, the conditions to walk into where you’re going are so bad that it’s unsafe.”
Cherokee County Sheriff Jason Chennault said his teams are responding to back-to-back vehicle crashes all over the county.
“We’re running from one crash to another, and it’s not any specific portion of the county. It’s just all over the place,” said Chennault. “It seems like people aren’t staying home as they should be doing."
District 2 Cherokee County Commissioner Chris Jenkins said road crews are having a hard time and are ending up in ditches.
“Everything we’re doing is just getting covered back up, and it’s dangerous out there,” said Jenkins. “I can’t stress it enough, but if you need to stay home, don’t get out in this if you don’t have to.”
Cherokee County Emergency Management Director Mike Underwood said he anticipated road conditions to worsen throughout the day as freezing precipitation continued.
“I think we’re going to continue to receive light precipitation and freezing precipitation,” said Underwood. “The street crews have been out pretty much all night. They took a little bit of a break once it goes away, and they’ll get back out and start sanding and salting again.”
Jenkins said there seemed to be a small window during which the ice began to melt. However, he it to get worse later in the evening.
Officials are strongly urging drivers to stay home if possible and to keep a safe distance between vehicles while on the roads.
The Cherokee County Courthouse was closed Wednesday. As of the afternoon, officials planned to reopen Thursday, Feb. 11, if weather permits.
No more precipitation was in the Thursday forecast, but temperatures were expected to remain below 30.