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Thawing : Progress and problems as things warm up in Oklahoma City

Uptown OKC thawing North Classen is a snow route
Uptown OKC thawing North Classen is a snow route

Uptown Oklahoma City began to show signs of thaw beginning Friday midday. Thaw revealed progress and problems.

Snow routes have required less tending by OKC snow plows and salt trucks, as the snow melts and is carried away by area drainage. Pipes, however are a different story. Public water connections as well as residential and business water connections that had suffered excessive stress over the last few days of temperatures as low as 8 at night and hovering around 16 during the day began to leak or burst once the freezing temperatures subsided.

North Classen Boulevard is one of the identified snow routes and one office building there had a double meter blow out, causing water to pool in their lawn and inch into the snow route.

Many OKC parking lots are not salted or scraped, as there is no local ordinance requiring this. Some company insurance policies require that the property be manintained for safety ( typically if a medical provider or holding some version of certification or licensure along the same service lines.)

Most pedestrians would agree that traveling on shoveled, salted or chemically treated walks is preferable to fjording ice slick or uneven surfaces. Most shoppers and diners find that a clean path is more inviting than an unpredictable one.

This time of year, thaws often generate ice that has a rough and uneven surface on stairs, walkways and streets. OKC Uptown's Cafe Antigua ( Guatemalan Breakfast House) and Trolley Stop Record Shop have both taken clear efforts to make definitive paths for customers.

OKC Chamber of Commerce, which often sets the pace for suggested business practices doesn't have any listing or customs for cleaning sidewalks, which are viewed often as a public thoroughfare and not under the responsibility of the shop owner. In days gone by, property owners or shopkeepers would be more diligent about customer service, as a formal looking, clean environment was a sign of a more evolved business out on the prairie.

Fall hazards independent of snow or ice can be fatal for the elderly. whether it be because of risk for traumatic brain injuries that happen unnoticed by family members of medical providers or from breaking a hip, which results in the person becoming sedentary and succumbing to other illness, such as pneumonia.

It is unclear how many people are unprepared for the deep winter weather OKC has had lately, sans a true winter coat, hat and/or gloves Most programs focus on young children and gradeschool age children for winter coat resources when it comes to programs addressing need. However, many adolescents, young adults, adults and older adults are also without proper winter wear. Lack of proper winter clothing contributes to health issues for this population as well. Poverty causes people to move often, and there is often not a place to store change of season clothing, i.e. to keep a coat from season to season, or they outgrow it.

Thawing snow and ice provides some relief, and some risks for OKC.

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