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Emergency director: Tulsans should stay inside in extreme cold

Low visibility in blowing snow in south Tulsa at 71st and South Sheridan
From file
Low visibility in blowing snow in south Tulsa at 71st and South Sheridan

As Tulsa braces for severe cold, the city’s top weather response official is urging residents to stay inside.

The National Weather Service predicts an overnight low of 17 degrees with light snow Friday morning. More snow is expected Sunday night, as well as below-zero lows Sunday and Monday nights.

Tulsa County Emergency Management Director Joe Kralicek says the primary concern in this weather event is the freezing cold.

"We’re looking at being below freezing for at least 140 hours, and with wind chills down to negative 20 according to some models. So at that level, you’re looking at potential frostbite within 30 minutes of exposure on any sort of skin. So that’s a life-threatening level of cold," Kralicek said.

While Kralicek doesn’t expect power disruption or significant ice accumulation, he still says Tulsans should avoid getting out on the roads.

"Most people, when they have an issue during severe winter weather, they find it occurs whenever they’re having to get out and travel. And so your best way to survive these events is to shelter in place and be prepared," Kralicek.

Kralicek urged Tulsans to stock up on groceries today, before the temperature drops. He also said to leave your faucet dripping, as water line ruptures are a concern.

Tulsa Street Maintenance Director Tim McCorkell said this afternoon that his workers would pre-treat hills, bridges and overpasses to prevent ice accumulation.

Max Bryan is a news anchor and reporter for KWGS. A Tulsa native, Bryan worked at newspapers throughout Arkansas and in Norman before coming home to "the most underrated city in America." Several of Bryan's news stories have either led to or been cited in changes both in the public and private sectors.