Locals need to prepare for major winter storm

David Seeley
PDN Editor

There might be a fairly high percentage of LeFlore County and area residents who do not even remember the winter after celebrating our country’s bicentennial — in which Poteau and LeFlore County got around 20 inches of snow.
LeFlore County Emergency Management Director Dennis Yochum says it’s not going to be that bad on Sunday, but it will be bad enough.
“They really don’t know a whole lot because it’s still off the west coast,” he said. “It’s not even landed on land yet (as of Friday afternoon). Everything we’re doing right now basically is just a prediction. It’s not a guarantee it’s coming. They went ahead and issued us a Winter Storm Warning that won’t start until midnight Saturday night. I think they’re doing that just so they can get a game plan on which way it’s going to turn and where it’s going to go. When it starts, it’s going to be bad. There’s not a nice way to say it. It’s going to be bad. It’s going to be a significant winter storm.”
Depending upon the storm’s track, the area could see several inches of snow — plus bitter, cold temperatures.
Cold temperatures also means some home maintenance on everyone’s part, namely doing what’s necessary to keep water pipes from freezing, such as opening the doors underneath kitchen and bathroom sinks, let faucets drip and — if possible — keep heat on in those areas.
Also, keep pets inside or sheltered.
Since today will still be a non-snowy day with cold temperatures, Yochum said today will be the day to stock up.
“My advice would be if you need groceries or if you think you need to fill up your car (with gasoline), you probably need to do that Saturday as opposed to waiting. I would not recommend traveling at all once this thing starts. We’re going to have road crews out working the roads, trying to keep them clear for emergency personnel. We don’t need add jeopardy by adding travelers. If you do plan on traveling, make sure you have blankets and water in the car, so if you get stranded you have means of keeping warm and keeping yourself hydrated. Go get the main provisions like milk, bread and eggs, those types of things before the storm arrives.”