THE WINTER STORM THAT WASN'T: Some areas of county received 5 inches, but it didn't last

Keri Gordon | Daily Press

Tahlequah area schools were closed Wednesday, Jan. 25, after a blanket of snow covered the region, but just temporarily.

Emergency Management officials said the short-lived winter storm turned out to be just that, since ground temperatures were still relatively mild from the recent warmer weather.

Cherokee County was under a winter weather storm warning, and snowfall totals were expected reach more than what actually fell Tuesday evening.

“We didn’t end up getting the amount of accumulation that the National Weather Service had anticipated that we were going to get,” said City of Tahlequah/Cherokee County Emergency Management Director Mike Underwood.

He said various parts of the county, and even city, reported different snowfall totals. Four to 5 inches of snow were reported in the northern part of Tahlequah, while some places were spotty.

“There were places that received anywhere from 2 to 3 inches, and of course, it was melting the entire time that it was snowing,” Underwood said.

Initially, the NWS predicted that 1-2 inches of snow would fall per hour, as temperatures hovered around 32 degrees.

“But because of some of the warmer days we had over the past week or two, it helped with the ground temperatures, which helped melt [the snow] right off,” Underwood said.

Aside from a few reported fender-benders, Underwood said there were no issues with Tuesday’s weather.

Tahlequah Street Commissioner Kevin Smith sent crew members home early Tuesday so they could return to work on the roads.

“They came in and worked 10 hours, the day crew came in at 5 a.m. this morning. We pretreated some streets yesterday before the snow,” Smith said.

Crews used snow plows and the grader on the roads Tuesday and Wednesday.

According to Lake Region Electric Cooperative, 10 residents in Lowery experienced outages Wednesday.

Underwood said anything could happen toward the end of January and the beginning of February as far as winter weather.

“We could see more, and it just depends on how it generates and moves across [the region],” he said.

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