City of Tulsa and Tulsa County Discuss Winter Weather Preparedness
By Caitlin Alexander
City, county, weather, and emergency management leaders met Friday to discuss the area's winter weather response needs. The group also led a table-top exercise with supporting agencies to practice severe weather preparedness."We are prepared. We are in very, very good shape," said Mayor Dewey Bartlett. He said there are "sufficient funds" available for winter weather Bartlett spoke about the city's resources. There are 14,500 tons of salt available due to the past several mild winters. The city reports it has 63 truck-mounted salt/sand spreaders and 45 snow plows. The city's Streets and Stormwater Department said it acquired seven new pick-up trucks with snow plows for parking lots and other areas. That department tends to 1,768 miles of roads.County Commissioner Karen Keith said the county is also prepared for winter. She said crews tend to 750 miles of roads. That includes 200 bridges.EMSA is also preparing to continue its service safely in the winter."Preparing our crews, preparing our vehicles, preparing our supplies and equipment," said Jason Whitlow with EMSA. He said the extra steps now can prevent slow downs later. He said EMSA equips its vehicles with salt and equipment to dig out of snow piles.Tulsa Area Emergency Management Director Roger Jolliff said this is the first year of the mass notification system. He said the area will receive alerts in case of severe winter weather. Jolliff said he encourages families to discuss their winter preparedness now. That includes examining back-up generators and making sure families have the tools to clear walkways.For the assembly's exercise, Jolliff spoke about steps organizations can take at various stages of a possible weather event.Ed Calianese with the National Weather Service said there are no major weather influences, like serious rain events, to make the winter season more predictable. He said the current outlook calls for slightly enhanced odds of slightly warmer than average temperatures. He said the area should prepare for a "standard winter."The group met at the Police Academy.
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