Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 3, 2007 – 8 p.m. Update #13
Weather conditions were quiet today across the state as the upper low responsible for recent rainfall moved south into Texas. There are no flash flood watches for the state this evening. There is a chance of rainfall Wednesday and Thursday as a cold front moves into the northern part of the state.
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 for those displaced by flooding at the following locations:
Bartlesville – East Cross United Methodist Church on Madison Boulevard (9 stayed overnight)
Dewey – Dewey High School Student Center (18 stayed overnight)
Miami – First Assembly of God, First Baptist, First Christian, Mt. Olive Lutheran and Sacred Heart Catholic churches
Officials with Southern Baptist Men’s Disaster Relief have their large feeding unit in Miami to assist at the shelter opened at the First Christian Church.
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.
For Oklahoma residents seeking non-emergency disaster or health and human service information, please contact your local 2-1-1. Services are available 24 hours a day by dialing 2-1-1 from your home or cellular telephone in the following counties.
Northeastern Oklahoma: In Craig, Delaware, Mayes, Nowata, Ottawa and Washington counties dial 2-1-1 or 918-336-2255. In Adair, Cherokee, Creek, McIntosh, Muskogee, Okfuskee, Okmulgee, Osage, Rogers, Sequoyah, Tulsa and Wagoner counties dial 2-1-1 or 918-836-4357.
Central Oklahoma: In Canadian, Cleveland, Grady, Kingfisher, Lincoln, Logan, McClain, Oklahoma and Pottawatomie counties dial 2-1-1 or 405-286-4057.
Southeastern Oklahoma: In Atoka, Bryan, Carter, Choctaw, Coal, Garvin, Haskell, Hughes, Jefferson, Johnston, Latimer, LeFlore, Love, Marshall, McCurtain, Murray, Pittsburg, Pontotoc, Pushmataha, Seminole and Stephens counties call 2-1-1 or 580-332-0558.
Southwest Oklahoma: In Beckham, Caddo, Comanche, Cotton, Greer, Harmon, Jackson, Kiowa, Tillman, and Washita counties call 2-1-1 or 580-355-7575.
When cleaning up following a flood, residents are reminded of the following:
Wear rubber boots, rubber gloves, and goggles during cleanup of the affected area
Remove and discard items that cannot be washed and disinfected (such as, mattresses, carpeting, carpet padding, rugs, upholstered furniture, cosmetics, stuffed animals, baby toys, pillows, foam-rubber items, books, wall coverings, and most paper products)
Remove and discard drywall and insulation that has been contaminated with sewage or flood waters
Thoroughly clean all hard surfaces (such as flooring, concrete, molding, wood and metal furniture, countertops, appliances, sinks, and other plumbing fixtures) with hot water and laundry or dish detergent
Help the drying process by using fans, air conditioning units, and dehumidifiers
After completing the cleanup, wash your hands with soap
Wash all clothes worn during the cleanup in hot water and detergent and wash them separately from uncontaminated clothes and linens
Wash clothes contaminated with flood or sewage water in hot water and detergent. It is recommended that a laundromat be used for washing large quantities of clothes and linens until the onsite waste-water system has been professionally inspected and serviced
Seek immediate medical attention if you become injured or ill.
Accompanied by state and local emergency management officials, Gov. Brad Henry today toured flooded and flood-impacted areas in northeast and central Oklahoma. The governor took an aerial tour of Miami before landing and visiting with victims and first-responders in the flood-damaged areas. Gov. Henry then surveyed the Bartlesville area, South Coffeyville and Coffeyville, Kansas, by air, including a Coffeyville oil refinery that spilled more than 40,000 gallons of crude oil into the Verdigris River, where it is now flowing into Oklahoma. OEM Director Albert Ashwood and Oklahoma Adjutant General Major General Harry M. Wyatt were among those who joined the Governor on the tour.
Preliminary Damage Assessments (PDAs) for potential Individual Assistance will continue tomorrow via an Oklahoma National Guard Blackhawk helicopter. Officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Small Business Administration will join OEM on the flight over flooded areas including Miami, Bartlesville and South Coffeyville. The state and federal officials will survey the damage to homes and businesses, many of which remain under water. PDAs have already been completed in Pottawatomie and Comanche counties. Other PDAs will be conducted as additional 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 personnel are assisting city officials in Miami. The Guard is providing perimeter security. Additionally, Oklahoma National Guard water trailers are providing drinking water for residents, especially those on well systems.
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.
OEM and OHP are assisting with response, recovery 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 after decreases in water levels in the Caney River yesterday from 21.7 feet to 21.5 feet, and an 8:45 a.m. measurement today of 20.8 feet, officials feel confident that additional releases from lakes Hulah and Copan will continue to be less threatening to the communities downstream. Although water levels remained high in many areas throughout the county, the next several days should result in a continued decrease of water levels. Officials will soon switch to a recovery mode which means they will begin with damage assessments and debris clean-up. They are also focusing on assisting residents as their return to their flooded homes. There are 28 Buffalo reported to be missing from around the north Bartlesville area. They should be considered very dangerous and anyone who encounters them should call the Bartlesville Police Department immediately. The number is (918) 338-4001.Traffic is slowly returning to normal, but motorists are still reminded not to violate barricades. Lake Hulah is at 98 percent and Lake Copan is at 104 percent. Residents are reminded to keep children and pets out of the affected area until cleanup has been completed. American Red Cross is operating shelters and the Salvation Army is feeding the displaced and first responders.
Durant/Bryan County Emergency Management reports a flood emergency remains 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. The Lake is closed at this time.
McIntosh County Emergency Management reports the area is seeing some road closings due to high water. Lake Eufaula will crest at 597.8 which is nearly a foot over flood pool level. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is doing controlled releases of water to avoid flooding down the river. All boat ramps in the county are now under water. No reports of damage to homes at this time but if the Deep Fork River keeps rising we expect water in homes any time.
Miami Emergency Management reports about 2,500 residents remain evacuated from the area as the Neosho River is at 30 feet. Flood stage is 15 feet. The river is expected to crest by around midnight. An estimated 250 to 300 homes have sustained flood damage. Steve Owens Boulevard is flooded cutting off east-west traffic in the center of the city. American Red Cross is operating shelters and the Salvation Army is feeding the displaced and first responders.
Payne County Emergency Management reports all three districts have experienced significant road, bridge, and culvert damages. Several roads have been closed for several days and damage assessment cannot be done until the water recedes. Officials report a near-miss on a six acre private lake. Payne County Emergency Management, in conjunction with the City of Stillwater, warned folks downstream of the impending risk and made preparations for evacuation. They acquired a large pump from the State of Oklahoma Conservation Commission, and managed to get ahead of the rainfall, allowing for repairs to be made to the structure. Based on predictions of major flooding of the Cimarron River, Payne County Commissioners passed an Emergency Disaster Proclamation, so they would be prepared to respond if the situation worsened.