Tulsa, OK – Mayor Dewey Bartlett today has declared the City of Tulsa a disaster area entitled to aid, relief and assistance and has directed implementation of the City of Tulsa/Tulsa County Emergency Operations Plan. Governor Mary Fallin has declared a disaster in all 77 Oklahoma counties and has requested assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
By Wednesday afternoon, City of Tulsa crews had plowed all major arterial streets and removed snow down to the ice covering the road surface. Next steps include using a supply of 3,100 tons of an enhanced salt that works in sub-zero temperatures to penetrate the ice and start melting it. The City has a total of 7,000 tons of salt on hand, which includes the enhanced salt.
Enhanced salt application on arterial streets begins Wednesday afternoon and will continue into the evening. The enhanced salt also provides 30 percent to 40 percent more coverage and can be spread out further. After two or three coverings of this salt, the ice should be getting slushy; then roads can be plowed down to the pavement. Crews will go back to bridges and hills to treat them again as needed.
Looking ahead, the City of Tulsa is ordering another 3,000 tons of regular salt, in case of a March snowstorm. Usually temperatures aren't as cold in March, and snow clears up faster. The salt will be delivered to the West Maintenance Yard in two to three weeks.
Snow clearing equipment is showing its age a little bit, but it remains in working order. The City's Equipment Management Department is working to maintain the equipment during this intensive operation. City personnel are working overtime to clear the streets as soon as possible.
The City will begin clearing snow from secondary routes known as collector streets, to help residents get out of their neighborhoods to the arterial streets. This labor-intensive process will take a lot of time, because the snow has to be removed instead of plowed. Plowing blocks driveways, mailboxes, fire hydrants and parked vehicles.
Just as is happening currently downtown, the City will continue to use additional Public Works personnel, trucks and loaders to remove snow from collector streets. The Fire Department also will help to make more residential streets passable by driving their trucks along these streets to clear paths for other vehicles.
The City will evaluate progress on collector streets before making decisions about other residential streets. Homeowner associations, however, may hire their own snow removal services if desired. No permit is required by the City.
Tulsa Police are responding to Priority 1 and 2 calls that involve life emergencies and immediate danger. Some officers are using their personal four-wheel-drive vehicles to get around.
Tulsa Transit is working to have limited bus service on Thursday. Snow will be cleared from MTTA's parking lot so more buses will be available. Buses that have gotten stuck are being brought back into service.