Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 20, 2007 – 3:30 p.m. Update #3
Late afternoon Tuesday, thunderstorms developed near Enid and in southwest Kansas. These storms moved south and southeast into central and western Oklahoma. The presence of warm temperatures and tropical moisture resulted in favorable conditions for severe thunderstorms through the overnight hours. Initial activity produced giant size hail in northwest Oklahoma while overnight the primary impact was widespread damaging winds. In Ringwood (Major County), winds topping 80 mph were reported and in Goltry (Alfalfa County) softball size hail was reported.
Summertime temps are expected throughout the coming week with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms mainly in eastern Oklahoma.
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 Monday 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.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission reports about 4,200 homes and businesses remain without power. At the height of power outages, about 34,000 homes and business were without electric service statewide.
OG&E reports 2,957 customers currently without electric service. In south Oklahoma City 1,263 are without power. Other outages are reported in Norman – 271 and Marshall – 265.
PSO reports 833 customers remain without electric service, primarily in the Broken Arrow area.
The Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives reports 425 rural electric customers without power. Southwest Rural Electric Association, based in Tipton, has about 25 Oklahoma customers without power. Harmon Electric Association, based in Hollis, has about 400 Oklahoma customers without power at this time.
No shelters are open at this time.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation reports there are currently no highways or interstates closed due to flooding in the state. Amtrak's Heartland Flyer resumed its normal route today at its normal departure time of 8:25 a.m. from the Santa Fe Station in Oklahoma City. Due to extensive flooding in the Gainesville, Texas area, BNSF Railroad tracks have been closed since Monday. Amtrak arranged to transport passengers by bus from Oklahoma City to Fort Worth, Texas during this closure.
Local Damage Reports
Pontotoc County Emergency Management reports recent flooding has damaged and destroyed bridges, tinhorns, low water crossings and roads throughout the county. In the Town of Roff three houses sustained flood damage and in Latta one business and one house had flood damage.
Woodward City/County Emergency Management reports storms last night disrupted power to about 2,000 homes and businesses throughout the county. Power has been restored to all. High winds delivered window damage at homes and there were several reports of vehicles damaged by hail and fallen trees. Several lightning-induced fires were reported and trees are partially blocked roads in the City of Woodward and along US 270 between Woodward and Ft Supply. The Woodward County Sheriffs Office, Woodward County Fire and Woodward City/County Emergency Management's primary radio repeater systems took direct lightning strikes and were severely damaged. The strikes were powerful and frequent enough to bypass lightning protection systems at both sites. A backup repeater system was activated and remains in use to provide county-wide communications. A recovery team began working debris removal in Woodward County this morning. Preliminary estimates show about $40,000 in private property damage and $10,000 to $15,000 in damage to public property.
Damage Assessments Continue
OEM and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) representatives continue to join local officials in conducting joint preliminary damage assessments (PDAs) related to weather systems that moved through the state since Memorial Day weekend. The PDAs are needed to gage whether the damages to infrastructure and the costs associated with responding to the storms meet the criteria to qualify for disaster assistance.
State and local officials are also in the process of confirming the number of homes and businesses damaged by the storms. Residents and business owners who sustained uninsured or under-insured property damage are urged to report the damage information to their local emergency manager.
Recovery from May 4-11 Storms Continues
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. OEM and FEMA representatives are holding applicant briefings with local officials in the declared counties. An applicants' briefing is a meeting conducted to inform prospective applicants of available assistance and eligibility requirements for obtaining that assistance.
OEM continues to work with nine additional counties where damage from the May 4-11 storm was identified but where initial damage assessments in those counties did not meet the per capita requirement for federal disaster assistance. Additional damage surveys are now underway in Bryan, Canadian, Garfield, Grady, Hughes, Logan, McIntosh, Sequoyah and Woodward counties.