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December 5, 2013

Icy, wintry storm begins to hit parts of Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY —

A winter storm expected to plow through Oklahoma starting Thursday has led officials to postpone high school state football championship games and cities to cancel holiday festivities across the state.

National Weather Service forecaster Daryl Williams said parts of southern Oklahoma started seeing freezing precipitation Thursday morning. But he said the brunt of the wintry storm bringing snow and ice will be felt overnight and into Friday morning.

A winter storm warning is in effect for parts of southwestern, central and northeastern Oklahoma Thursday. An ice storm warning is underway for southeastern Oklahoma. Northern and western parts of the state, including the Panhandle, are under a winter weather advisory. And once this storm is over, residents should brace for another. Williams said forecasters are predicting another round of storms Saturday and into Sunday.

Because of the upcoming storm, the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association says the 6A state football title game between Jenks and Union has been rescheduled from Thursday in Stillwater to Dec. 12 in Tulsa, and that other games will be rescheduled for next week.

Holiday events during the next few days have been cancelled in several cities, including Edmond and Sand Springs.

In Moore, officials canceled the Christmas in Old Town event featuring horse-drawn carriage rides and a tree lighting ceremony, which was to take place Friday night. City spokesman Jayme Shelton said Old Town Association officials feared putting residents in potentially unsafe situations. Moore, which was rocked in May by a deadly tornado, is cognizant of severe weather, he said.

“We’ve dealt with a lot of weather this year and we want to be as cautious as possible and trust the experts at the National Weather Service,” Shelton said.

Financial considerations also figured into the decision, he said, because some of the offerings — like the carriage ride — depend on people turning out to recoup costs.

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