Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 2, 2007 – 9 p.m. Update #12
A weak low pressure system had drifted southwest to near Wichita Falls, Texas, early this evening. This system should continue southwest into Texas throughout the night, which will reduce its influence on Oklahoma. Southern sections will continue to receive excessive rainfall on Tuesday.
A flash flood watch continues for south-central Oklahoma through Tuesday morning. Rain chances may increase on Wednesday as a cold front moves into northwest Oklahoma. The potential for additional excessive rainfall will be possible with this cold front.
The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) continues to receive damage reports from counties, cities and towns impacted by storms and flooding. OEM remains in contact with emergency managers in the affected areas.
Injuries and Fatalities
On June 18, three people sustained minor injuries when their pickup washed down a creek in Pontotoc County. All three were rescued: two were treated at the scene; one was transported to a nearby hospital. No additional injuries reported.
No power outages reported at this time.
The American Red Cross is operating shelters to help those displaced by flooding at the following locations:
Bartlesville – East Cross United Methodist Church on Madison Blvd.
Dewey – Dewey High School Student Center
Miami – First Assembly of God, First Baptist, First Christian, Mt. Olive Lutheran and Sacred Heart Catholic churches.
The Salvation Army continues to provide feeding services for shelters and responders in Bartlesville, Dewey and Miami. In Bartlesville they also have a canteen roaming the neighborhoods and are serving three meals a day at the Salvation Army office. Over the past weekend more than 200 meals have been served by the Salvation Army.
Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) and Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) officials advise motorists to use caution as they drive on Oklahoma roadways. Though roads may remain open, motorists are encouraged to find alternate routes if the road appears flooded. Motorists should drive for the conditions by slowing down and avoiding driving into any high water situations.
ODOT reports due to changing weather conditions in Oklahoma and Texas, the Heartland Flyer may be unable to travel its scheduled route. If so, Amtrak will bus train passengers to each stop. The bus will depart from Oklahoma City at the regular time of 8:25 a.m. and return at its scheduled 9:39 p.m. To verify schedules, check passenger status or for information prior to departure, call 1-800-USA-RAIL.
Oklahoma National Guard personnel and water trailers are being deployed to Miami. City officials requested the Guard to assist with perimeter security and the water trailers are being pre-positioned as a precautionary measure. A total of 40 soldiers and four water trailers are expected to arrive in Miami by tomorrow morning.
All 77 Oklahoma counties remain under a State of Emergency. The executive order issued by Gov. Brad Henry in May serves as a formal mechanism for local governments to seek reimbursement for recovery costs through the state’s public assistance program as conditions warrant.
Personnel from the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) have been monitoring the effects of a 1,000 barrel spill of crude oil from the Coffeyville, Kan. refinery into the flooding Verdigris River. Currently no downstream public water supply intakes in Oklahoma show any adverse impacts from the spill. DEQ is in contact with system operators. Since all intakes are submerged, the presence of petroleum products on the water surface should not be a problem for the systems. However, DEQ cautions public water supplies to be alert for the presence of sheen in the water and to institute appropriate precautions should that occur. Sheen is the evidence of oil floating on top of water. DEQ will continue to assess the situation in Oklahoma and to assist with any clean-up which may be necessary as flood waters recede.
Preliminary damage assessments (PDAs) for potential individual assistance will continue on Tuesday in Comanche County. Joint teams representing OEM, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Small Business Administration will join Comanche County Emergency Management officials in examining the damage to homes and businesses, primarily in the Lawton and Cache areas. Residents and business owners who sustained uninsured or under-insured property damage are urged to report the damage information to their local emergency manager. PDAs were completed today in Pottawatomie County and other PDAs will be conducted in additional areas of the state as damage reports are confirmed. OEM, FEMA and local officials also continue to assess infrastructure damage caused by the flooding. The PDAs are needed to gauge whether damages meet the criteria to qualify for disaster assistance.
Oklahoma National Guard water trailers remain in Ralston to provide potable water to the Pawnee County community of 355. On Friday, a water main break left the town in need of water.
OEM and OHP are assisting with response efforts at the Bartlesville/Washington County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Bartlesville and at the City of Miami EOC.
A federal disaster declaration remains in effect for 17 Oklahoma counties to provide public assistance related to the severe storms, flooding and tornadoes that occurred in the state May 4-11. The 17 counties that qualified for public assistance are: Atoka, Beckham, Blaine, Caddo, Comanche, Dewey, Ellis, Greer, Kay, Kiowa, Lincoln, Noble, Nowata, Okfuskee, Pottawatomie, Roger Mills and Seminole.
Local Damage Reports
Bartlesville/Washington County Emergency Management reports the Caney River is expected to crest near 22 feet. The current level is 21.5 feet. The rate of rise has decreased; however officials expect some fluctuations during the next 24 hours as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers makes adjustments to release rates at Copan and Hulah lakes. Officials remind residents to stay out of flooded areas and pointed out that the swift moving waters contain a lot of very dangerous debris and other potentially hazardous waste contaminants. Anyone who has been exposed to flood waters should contact their personal physician and inquire into the need for a tetanus shot. Additionally motorists were asked to remain patient when traveling throughout the county and urged to obey all road-closing signs and barricades. Officers issued more than 100 citations yesterday and will continue active enforcement of anyone going around or moving barricades. No additional rescues since yesterday. Officials estimate between 2,500 and 3,000 residents have been displaced countywide since Friday. American Red Cross is operating shelters and the Salvation Army is feeding the displaced and first responders.
Comanche County Emergency Management reports about 150 homes and businesses were affected by last week’s flooding, according to damage surveys completed today by officials with the American Red Cross. In order to ensure all damages are identified, local officials are urging citizens who sustained damage in the floods to report those damages to 2-1-1, a non-emergency information line.
Durant/Bryan County Emergency Management reports a flood emergency is in effect for southern portions of the county along the Red River. Lake Texoma is expected to flow over the spillway on or before noon Thursday. Landowners were urged to move livestock and other necessary belongings away from river bottom and low lying areas. They were told to be prepared to evacuate the area as waters could rise to extremely dangerous levels.
Miami Emergency Management reports about 2,500 residents have evacuated the city and outlying areas. Already some homes have up to three feet of water inside. The Neosho River is expected to crest late Tuesday evening at 28 to 30 feet. Flood stage is 15 feet. City officials are telling residents if they were flooded in 1986 they will see flood waters during this event as well. American Red Cross is operating shelters and the Salvation Army is feeding the displaced and first responders.
Osage County Emergency Management reports the residents of Whispering Hills in the Mayfield addition were asked to evacuate today. The action was necessary as some homes already had water inside and the Kaw Lake gates were set to open. Firemen from Green Country are standing by to assist residents.
Pontotoc County Emergency Management reports all three county districts have sustained additional damage to culverts and some erosion of bridges has occurred throughout the county. During the weekend parts of Pontotoc County recorded an additional two to three inches of rainfall resulting in some lakes crossing roads and many streams and creeks over-topping roads as well. Due to the heavy rainfall, all three county districts are reporting the collapse of blacktop roads in their districts. This situation is complicated by the heavy truck traffic that has to utilize some of these roads in order to make repairs to bridges, culverts, and low water crossings. Several roads in the county remain closed due to high water. Three bridges are confirmed destroyed, with local damage assessments proceeding slowly on the bridges due to high water in most areas. Since the flooding began, an estimated 150 culverts have been destroyed throughout the county and an additional 150 have been damaged. In Ada, at least 10 homes and four businesses sustained flood damage. In the county, three homes and one business were reported with flood damage. Numerous low water crossings within the county remain impassable to all but large trucks due to high water and many have sustained damage due to the swift water eroding the edges. County commissioners estimate infrastructure damages at $1 to $1.5 million at this time. As damage assessments continue and as more rain falls, that estimate is anticipated to rise.