Travel conditions have dramatically improved across most of Oklahoma as the state braces itself for more winter weather. A new storm system is expected to inundate the Northeast with a mix or rain and sleet while bringing heavy snow farther inland.
Red Cross volunteers Ann and Don Weston loading hot meals with Jim Brown of the Southern Baptist in St. Joseph, Mo.
(Photo: Laurel Goforth/American Red Cross)
A cold front that began Sunday swept through the Midwest, bringing sub-freezing temperatures and a combination of rain, freezing rain, sleet and snow.
In Oklahoma, ice accumulation ranged between a glaze and one inch across most of the state, causing widespread power outages and treacherous travel conditions. The storms caused the biggest power outage in state history, with an estimated half a million homes and businesses still without power today across the state.
The Red Cross opened 39 shelters in the area and is working with the Southern Baptist Convention to provide meals for those staying in the shelters. To date, the Red Cross has served more than 47,000 meals and snacks to those affected by the storms.
As custodians of nearly half of the nation’s blood supply, the Red Cross is also taking steps to prevent the ice storms from affecting blood collections. The Renaissance Hotel in Tulsa agreed to host a blood drive in the hotel today to give stranded guests the opportunity to help out.
Elsewhere, schools in Iowa and Wisconsin have been closed this week and Des Moines International Airport was closed Monday due to ice. Media reports state that two to six inches of snow are predicted for parts of Kansas and Oklahoma.
Although the storm's move towards the east provided temporary relief to the midwest, the region remains at the ready for the next wave of storms. The Red Cross remains on alert to provide shelter, food and comfort to residents in the nation’s midsection and elsewhere.
All American Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. You can help the victims of thousands of disasters across the country each year, disasters like the Midwest ice storms, by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, which enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to victims of disaster. The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster please do so at the time of your donation. Call 1-800-REDCROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P. O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting www.redcross.org.