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February 25, 2013

Weather prompts Fallin to declare state of emergency in Grady

GRADY COUNTY — Governor Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency for Grady County yesterday due to the possibility of intense winter weather.

Grady was one of 55 counties that received the declaration from the governor's office.

Dale Thompson, emergency management director for Grady County said despite this, he would still have to get an emergency declaration signed by two of three county commissioners in order to declare a state of emergency in the county.

"This would prevent us from having to follow normal purchasing procedures, so we could get the tools we need to deal with the weather," he said.

Should the storm cause enough damage, Thompson said the governor could ask the president to declare a state of emergency in order to obtain federal money to aide in the repairs.

"It would help fix broken down equipment and clear roadways," Thompson said.

The governor's office also urged Oklahomans to avoid traveling on the roads at all costs.

"The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is urging motorists to avoid travel in all impacted areas. Many roads and highways in northwest Oklahoma are closed due to snow and blowing snow," a release from the governor's office read. "While travel is strongly discouraged, if travel is unavoidable be sure to check road conditions before traveling."

As of 4 p.m. yesterday sleet had started to fall in Chickahsa with reports of Rush Springs receiving heavy snow. At that time Thompson said he was unsure whether Grady County would suffer the brunt of the storm, but his department was prepared for actions.

"We are right on the fringe where we could get 3 inches, or we could get 8 inches," he said. "We just have to wait and see."

For information regarding Oklahoma road conditions, call (405) 425-2385 or go to www.dps.state.ok.us.

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