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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) The Oklahoma Highway Patrol has closed all highways in the Panhandle and much of the state's northwest because of blizzard conditions.
Trooper Betsy Randolph said roadways in the region are slick and hazardous and visibility is extremely limited. The closure extended from Cimarron County eastward to Enid in north-central Oklahoma and southward to Washita County as of Monday afternoon.
Randolph said at least 15 motorists have reported being stranded, as well as some patrol cars and county sheriffs. She urges people in the area not to travel as it may be a while before help can reach them.
The highway closings don't have a definite expiration time, and Randolph says she expects the network of closed highways to continue expanding.
Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb declared a state of emergency for 56 Oklahoma counties due to a winter storm that is pounding the state.
Lamb issued the declaration early Monday afternoon at the request of Gov. Mary Fallin, who is in Washington for a meeting of the National Governors Association. The counties included in the emergency declaration stretch across western, central and northern Oklahoma.
The declaration allows state agencies to make emergency disaster relief purchases and is a necessary first step toward seeking federal assistance, if necessary.