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Tulsa Winter Weather Update Feb. 10 – 5:25 p.m.

This article was archived on 2/27/2021

The City of Tulsa is continuing its 24-hour winter weather response. Crews will report back to work at midnight tonight to address slick spots and any refreeze that may occur as the result of low temperatures.  

In large part, Tulsa’s main arterial streets are treated and passable at this time. Drivers and pedestrians are urged to practice caution, as some slick spots may be present, especially on neighborhood streets and on things like untreated sidewalks, etc. 

The City’s brine and salt materials are in good supply at this time, as the City has more than 8,000 tons of salt in its stockpile. All equipment is working as it should. The City is continuing to work through this event to ensure the safety of Tulsa’s travelers, and is preparing to switch operations from an ice response (with salt and brine) to a snow response (with snow plows) ahead of the weekend’s forecasted snow event.

Throughout this cold snap, the City has worked closely with Housing Solutions and its community partners to keep our vulnerable neighbors safe and warm. If you see someone who needs assistance, please utilize Housing Solutions’ online form

Upon completion of the form, outreach teams across Tulsa will coordinate a swift response.

If you see someone in immediate danger, call 911.

Warming Stations & TAEMA Response

There are two warming stations currently open in Tulsa for anyone seeking shelter from the extreme cold, namely:

To that end, the Tulsa Area Emergency Management Agency (TAEMA) helps coordinate extreme temperature planning throughout the year. TAEMA, the City of Tulsa, and other community partners are frequenting known homeless encampments in these extreme temperatures trying to get people inside.

Under the Extreme Temperature Plan, TAEMA is continuing to monitor the ongoing weather situation. Discussions have begun with area shelter providers regarding the need for an emergency shelter if the actual temperature or windchill value reaches -17 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the temperature at which frostbite becomes possible with limited exposure.

TAEMA has been in conversations with area shelter providers regarding the needs of Tulsa’s homeless population in light of this weekend being forecast near those temperatures. Based on TAEMA’s conversations with the shelter providers as of Tuesday, Tulsa’s shelters say they are confident they have capacity to ensure those experiencing homelessness who want to come out of the cold this weekend will have a place to do it without the need of an Emergency Disaster Shelter being opened to provide additional space.

The City will provide updates if the need for such a shelter arises. 

Overflow Shelter Operations

The City of Tulsa's overflow shelter for individuals experiencing homelessness at the former Tulsa County juvenile detention center had 140 overnight guests on Tuesday evening. The number of participants is normally 59, but due to inclement weather, we have increased the capacity at the shelter, while still maintaining social distancing guidelines.

The City continues to work with Housing Solutions and their community partners' outreach teams, such as the Mental Health Association of Oklahoma, to ensure this vulnerable population has a safe place to stay. The outreach program is helping transfer individuals experiencing homelessness to local shelters.

Thanks to our partnership with Iron Gate, the overflow shelter provides warm meals daily. Since Monday, Iron Gate has provided 735 meals at the overflow shelter, and projects to serve a total of 2,135 meals from the time period of Feb. 8, 2021, to Feb. 15, 2021.

There have been rumors those experiencing homelessness cannot bring their pets with them to the City’s overflow shelter. These rumors are false. This shelter, thanks to CARES Act funds,  welcomes anyone and their pets to seek shelter, regardless of weather conditions. Veterinarians regularly frequent the shelter to provide animal care at no charge. 

To date, the City has allocated more than $3.8 million in CARES Act funds on homelessness response.

Refuse & Recycling Update

Refuse and recycling will not be picked up today. Crews will treat today as a holiday and will work Saturday to catch up. Customers scheduled to receive refuse and recycling pickup today will have it picked up tomorrow. Thursday customers will have theirs picked up on Friday, and Friday customers will have theirs picked up on Saturday.

City of Tulsa Snow & Ice Response

The City of Tulsa is responsible for clearing snow and ice from the Gilcrease Expressway, L.L. Tisdale Expressway and all arterial (main) streets. Other highway segments in Tulsa are the responsibility of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation. 

After a snow or ice storm begins, the goal is to make expressways and arterial streets safe and passable as soon as possible. These resources are available to attain this goal:

Crews are assigned to 35 specific routes totaling 1,770 lane-miles, which is approximately the same distance as driving from Tulsa to San Francisco. Spreading and plowing routes are prioritized based on traffic counts. Once the main streets are cleared and conditions permit, selected residential streets may be treated based on traffic and steepness.

During winter weather response, the first focus is to clear city arterial streets for emergency responders. After arterial streets are clear, the second focus then moves to residential or collector streets near hospitals, schools and areas with steep hills. The following link includes a map of routes the City uses for arterial streets, collector streets, schools and steep hills:

Want to receive updates on emergency weather information and create a disaster plan for your family? Download the free Tulsa Ready App, compatible with Android and iOS systems. Follow the City of Tulsa on Twitter for updates during winter weather season, @cityoftulsagov