OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The Oklahoma Highway Patrol has closed all highways in the state's Panhandle area, citing blizzard conditions.
Trooper Betsy Randolph says roadways in the area are slick and hazardous and visibility is extremely limited. The closure extends from Cimarron County eastward to Woodward County.
Officials in Woodward County have declared a state of emergency as blizzard-like conditions set in.
Emergency Management Director Matt Lehenbauer says winds are picking up and snow is piling on so quickly that conditions are already dangerous even for road-clearing crews. He says the storm could continue to worsen and the area could pick up 12 to 20 inches of snow through tonight.
Lehenbauer says there have been several reports of stranded motorists but no reports of more serious accidents.
The highway closings don't have a definite expiration time, but Randolph says the patrol has advised its non-essential personnel that they might not come back to work until Wednesday.
Elsewhere, the Oklahoma Department of Safety has announced the closure of a portion of I-40.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. George Brown says the Texas DPS has closed I-40 from Amarillo east to the Oklahoma state line.
Texas troopers are heavily encouraging drivers to avoid travel in or near the area. The Texas Department of Transportation is unable to clear the roadways due to extreme weather.
Brown says the Oklahoma DPS will continue to monitor roadways and release updated information as it becomes available.
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