Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 8, 2007 – 7:30 p.m. Update #6
STORM DAMAGE REPORTS
The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) continues to receive damage reports related to the flooding, severe storms and tornadoes that have moved through the state since Friday. The State Emergency Operations Center remains activated to assist local officials as many areas of Oklahoma continue to be impacted by the severe weather.
The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for southwest Oklahoma this evening. Flash flooding is also a significant concern this evening as much of the state receives more rainfall. Current estimates add another 1 to 2 inches across much of the state with isolated areas receiving up to 3 inches. The potential for flooding and flash floods continues through Thursday.
Gov. Brad Henry today declared a State of Emergency for all 77 Oklahoma counties in the wake of tornadoes, torrential rains and flooding that have impacted much of Oklahoma since Friday, May 4. The declaration provides a formal mechanism for local governments to seek reimbursement for recovery costs through the state’s disaster public assistance program should conditions warrant. It also serves as a prelude to a federal disaster request, should one be necessary.
OEM is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide sandbags for the City of Bixby’s downtown district because the city’s floodwater pump is not working.
Two Oklahoma National Guard water trailers remain in Ralston to provide potable water to the Pawnee County community of 400. The trailers were delivered Monday after flooding caused a water main break. Guard personnel will refill the trailers as necessary. Additional bottled water is being provided by the Stillwater Wal-Mart store.
Injuries and Fatalities
One fatality and one minor injury are attributed to the severe weather.
The Oklahoma Medical Examiner reports a Canute man drown Sunday night following a one-vehicle accident. The man was driving along a county road two miles west and two miles north of Canute when his car was swept off the roadway due to high water during a thunderstorm, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) reports.
One minor injury was reported in Sweetwater due to the Saturday evening tornado however, the resident declined medical treatment.
There are no shelters open at this time. Red Cross officials continue to monitor locations with a history of flooding and stand ready to open shelters if necessary.
Motorists are urged to avoid driving into high water. It only takes a minimal amount of moving water for cars to be swept away and there may be unseen damage to the road. Motorists who encounter flooded roads should turn around and find an alternate route. Flash floods are the number one cause of weather-related deaths in the nation.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) reports the following road conditions.
SH-102 near SH-59B at the Little River in Pottawatomie County is closed.
US-60 in Washington County near Bartlesville is closed.
SH-10 at the Verdigris River near the Craig/Nowata County line is closed.
SH-11 at 112th Street North in Tulsa is closed.
ODOT officials are monitoring conditions on SH-6 north of Granite in Greer County and SH-80 near Ft. Gibson in Cherokee County.
The following reports were received related to the severe weather that occurred Monday and today.
Kiowa County Emergency Management reports Snyder and Mountain Park this evening received two inches of rain in about 30 minutes. The county is experiencing heavy flooding on some roadways, including US-183, Farm to Market Road which runs east and west out of Mt. Park.
Miami Emergency Management reports the Neosho River peaked its flood stage at 15 feet Monday afternoon which caused moderate flooding in Riverview Park. The river is currently at 18 feet-plus, and is expected to crest at 20.1 feet by Wednesday morning. SH-125 near the Miami Fair Grounds will more than likely face flooding issues and transportation officials will close it until the river recedes. Flooding was also reported in the Sky Ranch housing development. This area is a FEMA buyout location with most of the houses already purchased by the City of Miami and removed. The remaining structures braced for flooding as Tar Creek overflowed its banks and sent water over the curb line onto some front yards. By this morning the threat to the Sky Ranch housing development had subsided. City officials continue to monitor the area.
Oklahoma City Emergency Management reports the following information from Oklahoma City Public Works officials. Storm damage is reported at Western Avenue from NW 8th Street to NW 9th Street - building collapse; SE 17th Street from Central Avenue to Walnut Avenue - bridge approach washed out; SE 59th Street from Walker Avenue to Santa Fe Avenue - construction; SW 29th Street from Sara Road to Mustang Road - road washed out; and SW Grand Boulevard at Brock Drive (east bound traffic) - bridge approach washed out. High water is reported at the following locations: SW 44th Street from Sara Road to Mustang Road, Sara Road from SW 15th Street to SW 29th Street, SE 40th Street from Shields Boulevard to Stiles Avenue, SW 149th Street from May Avenue to Pennsylvania Avenue, SW 34th Street from Harvey Avenue to Walker Avenue, Ann Arbor Avenue from Reno Avenue to SW 4th Street, Morgan Road from Reno Ave to NW 10th Street; and at 1600 NE 51st Street.
Oklahoma County Emergency Management reports flooding across the roadway has closed Rockwell from 178th to 192nd streets and 178th Street between Portland & Meridian. Flooding is also reported in the Deer Creek area at Meridian between 178th & 206th streets, however, the roads there remain passable.
Okmulgee County Emergency Management reports some flooding in low lying areas of the county. Happy Camp Road, located in northern Okmulgee County, has been closed between N250 Road and N260 Road due to washed out tinhorns. The road was also closed temporarily between N260 Road and Bixby Road due to impassable water on the roadway. S260 Road north of SH-266 has been closed due to a low water bridge that is washed out. Numerous roads countywide have been closed and reopened due to high water. Deep Fork River is currently near the 18-foot flood level and is expected to crest near 23 feet. Officials expect moderate flooding and closed roadways. They do not anticipate evacuations but remain watchful.