Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 19, 2007 – 6 a.m. Update #1
STORM DAMAGE REPORTS
Many areas of Oklahoma remain impacted by high winds and flooding as the remnants of Tropical Storm Erin continues to move through the state. Some areas have received more than 7 inches of rain since midnight and additional rainfall is anticipated as the center of the tropical depression moves east. The National Weather Service has issued flash flood warnings, wind advisories and a tornado watch for areas of the state. The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) remains in contact with emergency managers in the affected areas.
Injuries and Fatalities
OG&E reports 11,749 customers without power statewide. Local outage totals include: 2,340 in El Reno; 1,860 in Yukon; 1,585 in South Oklahoma City; 1,341 in Moore; 1,286 in Norman and 1,276 in North Oklahoma City.
The American Red Cross has opened a shelter in Lawton at Cameron Baptist Church, 2621 C Avenue. A shelter is also opened in El Reno at Sacred Heart Church in the 200 block of South Evans.
Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) reports east- and westbound I-40 is closed in Canadian County due to flooding. Eastbound traffic is diverted at I-40B. Westbound traffic is being stopped just east of US-81. US-81 is closed between I-40 in Canadian County (in El Reno) and SH-152 (in Union City).
Travel is discouraged in many areas and motorists are urged to obey road closing barricades. 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.
Local Damage Reports
The following reports were received related to severe storms and flooding since midnight.
Blaine County Emergency Management reports heavy flooding in Watonga. Numerous households have been displaced and multiple swift-water rescues are underway. Wind damage reported to airfield buildings and the armory. Widespread power outages reported. Additionally, Greenfield Fire Department reports more than two feet of water in the station.
Comanche County Emergency Management reports flash flooding caused by more than 6 inches of rain in Lawton, and more than 8 inches in western and eastern areas of the county.
Six people were rescued from Ninth Street and I Avenue in south-central Lawton and four families were rescued in the 1500 block of Lincoln Street in Lawton. In addition, the Habitat Apartments in north-central Lawton were under mandatory evacuation due to a power outage and rising flood waters. Still more swift-water rescues underway due to numerous streets flooded in the city.
Kiowa County Emergency Management reports damage from a possible tornado Saturday evening. A large barn was destroyed about four miles east-northeast of Hobart. Also, several power poles were snapped with downed power lines and several trees uprooted four miles east-southeast of Hobart.