OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – The latest on an ice storm moving into the nation’s midsection (all times local):
About 200 Kansas National Guard soldiers have been mobilized to help the state respond to emergencies as an ice storm moves across the state.
Guard officials said in a news release that the soldiers will patrol key roads and help stranded motorists, as well as provide emergency transportation for first responders. The teams will operate in three shifts of two vehicles with two soldiers each from 12 locations across the state.
The guardsmen also will help provide warming stations at local armories, if necessary.
Much of Kansas is under an ice storm warning from Friday evening through Sunday.
The Oklahoma City metropolitan area is included in new ice storm warnings that have been issued for almost 30 counties in central, western and northern Oklahoma.
The National Weather Service issued the warning Friday afternoon and dropped a freezing rain advisory that had been in effect. The new warning will be in effect until 6 p.m. Saturday.
Forecasters say ice accumulations of around one-quarter of an inch are possible — enough to cause some power outages. Bridges, overpasses and some highways could also become slick and hazardous.
But forecasters say temperatures may warm enough during the day Saturday that the warning for the Oklahoma City area may be canceled before it expires.
The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management says there are no reports of power outages related to winter weather.
Freezing rain is causing numerous accidents in Missouri, including one fatal wreck.
Missouri State Highway Patrol spokesman Al Nothum says a sport utility vehicle veered off of Interstate 55 near Festus, south of St. Louis, on Friday morning. The SUV struck a tree, killing the driver. No other information has been released, but Nothum says a slick roadway is the suspected cause.
Nothum says several accidents have been reported as a result of freezing rain that began falling in southern Missouri early Friday. The rain later moved into St. Louis, where more than 100 flights were cancelled at Lambert Airport because of ice.
Forecasters are predicting the worst ice storm in at least a decade in St. Louis, with a half-inch or more of accumulation.
Freezing rain also moved into Oklahoma and Kansas early Friday, with forecasters warning of ice accumulations across the region. Icy weather also is expected in parts of Illinois, Texas and Arkansas.
Transportation officials say freezing drizzle is partially covering roads in southeast Kansas, and they’re asking drivers to stay off the roads.
Kansas Department of Transportation spokeswoman Kim Qualls said the weather is expected to stick around through Sunday. She says travel is highly discouraged and asked residents to “stay warm, stay home, stay safe.”
Freezing rain also moved into Oklahoma and Missouri early Friday, with forecasters warning of ice accumulations across the region. Icy weather also is expected in parts of Illinois, Texas and Arkansas.
The Kansas Department of Emergency Management has activated its emergency operations center to monitor the winter storm.
Oklahoma City’s largest airport says some flights are being canceled due to icy conditions but the airport remains open as freezing rain moves across much of the Southern Plains.
Will Rogers World Airport spokesman Josh Ryan says Southwest Airlines canceled five flights on Friday but that other airlines are operating a normal schedule.
He says temperatures on taxiways and runways have stayed above freezing.
Freezing rain moved into the region early Friday. Officials say slick spots are developing on roads in central Oklahoma and parts of Missouri.
Forecasters say icy weather also is expected in parts of Illinois, Texas and northern Arkansas.
An approaching ice storm is already causing trouble for St. Louis air passengers.
Lambert Airport reported that dozens of incoming and outbound flights were canceled Friday as freezing rain made its way to the St. Louis area.
Freezing rain was already falling Friday morning in much of the southern parts of the state, with portions of Interstate 44 becoming slick.
Forecasters are predicting a half-inch of ice or more over parts over Missouri through the weekend. Would-be travelers are being warned to stay home if possible.
Hundreds of schools are closed across the state, including several college campuses. Gov. Eric Greitens has declared a state of emergency.
Oklahoma highway officials are warning motorists that a winter storm moving into the Southern Plains is creating slick spots on roads and bridges.
Freezing rain was reported before sun-up on Friday in a band from southwestern Oklahoma into southern parts of Kansas and Missouri. Forecasters warn that the areas could see significant accumulations of ice before the storm moves out during the holiday weekend.
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has already declared a state of emergency that covers each of the state’s 77 counties. The declaration activates the state’s emergency response plan. She also relaxed size and weight restrictions for state roadways to accommodate relief efforts.
Forecasters say icy weather is also expected in parts of Illinois, Texas and northern Arkansas.
A winter storm that brought heavy snow and rainfall to northern California is descending upon the southern Plains, packing crippling ice accumulations and heavy rain that could cause widespread power outages and flooding.
The National Weather Service has issued an ice storm warning for northwestern Oklahoma starting Friday morning, and a winter storm watch for much of the rest of Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri along with parts of Illinois and Texas. Forecasters say there is a chance the region could see up to 1 inch of ice. Storms are also expected Saturday and Sunday.
In Kansas, up to 1 inch of ice was expected to fall in “multiple rounds” of freezing rain through Monday. In Missouri, forecasters were calling for up to three-quarters of an inch of freezing rain.