Ice Street

Ice Street

Although the storm was far worse over eastern Oklahoma, Norman wasn’t spared the frigid treachery of a mix of sleet and freezing rain in January 2007.  Neighborhood streets, which typically are not sanded or salted there, became impassible to most vehicles for several days after main roads were navigable again.  This one actually was more navigable the day following the precipitation than for two or three days thereafter.  A freeze-thaw cycle turned the sleet-ice-sleet sandwich into layered ice with an incredibly slippery veneer, like driving on Plexiglas covered with Crisco.  In fact, one car lay abandoned in a ditch off the lower left side of the image, hidden in shadows.  The road surface was nearly too slippery to walk upon slowly, and was almost impossible for two wheel drive cars to drive upon, especially if the road was hilly or curved (in this case, both).  Even large, four wheel drive pickups would fishtail and weave to and fro, wheels awhirl.  Such secondary road conditions also explained why schools were closed for a few days beyond the event itself; indeed, the street shown here is a school bus route.

Norman, OK (17 Jan 7), looking SSE

 

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