At least five inches of snow blanketed the Tulsa Metro area on Sunday, an amount the National Weather Service said is the heaviest the city has experienced in seven years. According to NWS Tulsa, the Tulsa International Airport got 5 inches of snow by 2 p.m. on Sunday.
Temperatures were below freezing for almost two weeks in the Skiatook area while ice and snow blanketed roads. Skiatook Public Schools shut down for two weeks due to road conditions and outside temperatures. Sperry Public Schools shut down for several days before transitioning to distance learning.
NWS Tulsa said that Tulsa got another 5.1 inches of snow on Tuesday with the second round of snowfall.
The drop in temperatures caused most or all power companies to implement rolling blackouts to conserve energy across the state. Skiatook had two turns at the rolling blackouts, with the first only affecting part of the city. On Tuesday morning at 9 a.m., the second was when the temperature hovered around -6 degrees, the entire city lost power for 45 minutes.
Avant was left without water after a pump froze.
Fire Chief Jim Annas stated there were four structure fires due to incorrect use of auxiliary heating devices. Using heaters incorrectly indoors or in crawl spaces can easily spark fires.
“We were doing the best we could with the staff we had,” Annas said.
As icy roads and colder temperatures increased the need for EMS and fire services, the Skiatook Fire Department found themselves stretched beyond their limits, with many working overtime to handle the increase in calls.