Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Situation Update 7
January 29, 2010, 5:15 p.m.
WINTER STORM CONTINUES TO IMPACT STATE
The State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) remains activated and the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) is in contact with emergency managers across the state. Agencies and organizations represented at the State EOC include the: American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Oklahoma Military Department, Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, 2-1-1 Oklahoma, Oklahoma Department of Transportation and the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture Food and Forestry.
Gov. Henry today asked the White House to approve an emergency disaster declaration request for all 77 Oklahoma counties due to the severe winter storm. If approved, state and local governments will receive reimbursement for expenses associated with responding to the storm. Eligible expenses could include personnel overtime costs as well as costs associated with operating shelters and clearing snow and ice covered roads. The declaration would also cover the use of industrial size generators and bottled water, federal resources secured through FEMA. Once damage assessment teams can survey the impacted area, additional federal assistance may be requested to aid local and state government recovery efforts.
Oklahoma remains under a State of Emergency, as declared by Gov. Brad Henry.
The State of Emergency marks a first step toward seeking federal assistance, should it be necessary. Additionally, the executive order allows state agencies to make emergency purchases and acquisitions needed to expedite the delivery of resources to local jurisdictions.
The declaration provides a formal mechanism for local governments to seek reimbursement for recovery costs through the state’s disaster public assistance program if conditions warrant.
All state offices in Canadian, Cleveland, Lincoln, Logan, McClain, Oklahoma and Pottawatomie counties along with numerous schools and businesses remain closed today.
INJURIES AND FATALITIES
According to the Oklahoma Office of the State Medical Examiner, a 70-year-old Ada woman died today after a propane tank exploded at her home. Her husband was hospitalized in critical condition due to the incident.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol reports troopers have worked 141 storm related crashes, including 41 involving injury since the storm began. The Oklahoma State Department of Health reports 191 slips and falls and 28 motor vehicle accidents involving injury related to the storm.
A Winter Storm Warning continues for much of eastern Oklahoma until midnight. Snowfall accumulations of 4 to 8 inches are likely in northeast and east-central Oklahoma. Across parts of southeast Oklahoma 2 to 3 inches are expected. A Winter Weather Advisory continues for much of central and parts of western Oklahoma until midnight. Snowfall accumulations of 3 to 5 inches are likely in the advisory area with snow tapering off by mid evening.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission reports 164,330 homes and businesses are without electric service due to the storm, which includes the following.
PSO reports 64,346 customers are without power including:
Chickasha – 13,118
Clinton – 995
Duncan – 5,183
Elk City – 105
Hobart – 6,332
Lawton – 34,432
Okmulgee – 233
The Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority reports 26,606 customers without power in:
Altus – 9,759
Duncan – 8,942
Eldorado – 283
Granite – 613
Manitou – 209
Olustee – 316
Lexington – 845
Purcell – 2,774
The Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives reports 58,130 customers without power in:
Caddo Electric, Binger: 6,429
Canadian Valley Electric, Seminole: 10,000
Central Rural Electric, Stillwater: 0
Cimarron Electric, Kingfisher: 25
Cookson Hills Electric, Stigler/Sallisaw: 0
Cotton Electric, Walters: 16,538
East Central OK Electric, Okmulgee: 1,000
Harmon Electric Association, Hollis: 3,303
Kiamichi Electric, Wilburton: 0
Kiwash Electric, Cordell: 2,000
Lake Region Electric, Hulbert: 0
Northeast OK Electric, Vinita: 0
Northfork Electric, Sayre: 600
Oklahoma Electric, Norman: 2,849
Ozarks Electric, Stilwell, Fayetteville: 126
People’s Electric, Ada: 6,260
Rural Electric, Lindsay: 6,000
SW Rural Electric, Tipton: 3,000
Verdigris Valley Electric, Collinsville: 0
OG&E reports 15,248 customers (including 2,232 in Ada, 1,830 in Seminole, 1,312 in Wayne and 1,108 in Pauls Valley) are without service.
Today OG&E opened customer walk-up centers in Ada, Seminole and Pauls Valley. The centers give customers affected by the ice storm a place to report their power outage and learn about the power restoration process directly from employees of OG&E.
The walk-up centers will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. for as long as they are needed.
- Ada: Apple Market, 220 E. 13th Street
- Seminole: Homeland Store, 1701 N. Milt Phillips Ave
- Pauls Valley: Homeland Store, 505 S. Chickasaw Avenue
OG&E communities south and east of the Oklahoma City metro area were hardest-hit by the ice storm, causing outages for as many as 25,000 customers overnight Thursday into Friday. Power lines and tree limbs are heavily laden with ice over a wide area, including metro OKC, and OG&E is operating under its emergency storm plan with all of its resources at work and assistance from out-of-state crews.
The State EOC is working to provide generators due to power outages in Duncan where the water system is down. Already generators have been deployed through the EOC and delivered by the Oklahoma National Guard to Asher, Apache and Hobart for shelter operations, and in Marlow and Stephens, Jefferson, Grady and Greer counties for water systems that are down.
Industrial-size generators and truck loads of bottled water secured through the federal government will be deployed through the State EOC to cities, towns and counties as needed due to power outages. The federal generators augment the industrial size state generators already positioned around the state. The industrial size generators are for shelters, water treatment plants and hospitals.
Please note these generators are not for residential use.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) reports the HE Bailey Turnpike remains closed from Chickasha to Elgin due to downed power lines. Additionally, the Creek Turnpike eastbound on ramp from Riverside Drive is closed. Roads remain slick and hazardous in western, southwestern, central and northeastern regions of the state. OHP continues to discourage travel.
Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) crews continue to work around the clock to clear roadways and drivers are urged to stay at least 200 feet behind road-clearing equipment. Additionally, motorists are asked to:
- Be aware that conditions are continually changing; drive cautiously and for the conditions on the roadway.
- Check road conditions before getting out on the roads.
- Allow extra space between vehicles, so there is adequate distance for braking in icy conditions.
- Be aware of "black ice," which looks wet on the roadway, but is actually a thin layer of ice.
For information regarding Oklahoma road conditions, call 888-425-2385. For road conditions in neighboring states call: Texas, 800-452-9292; Kansas, 866-511-5368; Arkansas, 800-245-1672; Colorado 303-639-1111; New Mexico 800-432-4269; and Missouri, 800-222-6400.
SHELTERS AND MASS FEEDING
The following shelters and warming centers remain open due to the winter storm:
Chickasha – Grady County Fairgrounds, 500 East Choctaw
Altus – Altus Community Center, 401 Falcon Rd
Anadarko – First Baptist Church, 700 Petree
Asher – First Baptist Church, 109 E. Main St
Canton – Canton Town Hall
Carnegie – Carnegie Elementary School, 202 West 4th St.
Concho – Concho Community Hall, 200 Wolf Robe Circle
Duncan – Stephens County Fairgrounds, 2002 S 13th Street
Elmore City – First Baptist Church, 107 S Texas Ave.
Hobart – First Methodist Church, 201 S. Washington
Holdenville – Senior Center, 124 N. Creek
Hollis – Hollis Civic Center, 208 W. Jones
Lawton – Cameron Baptist Church, 2621 SW C Ave.
Lindsay – Calvary Baptist Church, 5th and Chickasaw
Mangum – Church of New Beginnings, 408 North Tittle Avenue
Newcastle – Newcastle Storm Shelter, 851 N Carr
Paoli – Paoli Senior Citizens Center
Pauls Valley – Garvin County Fair Barn, 1401 N Willow
Purcell – Multi-Purpose Center, 1400 Chandler Rd
Seiling – Community Building
Watonga – Watonga Cheyenne-Arapaho Community Center
El Dorado – El Dorado Community Center, 514 W. Main
El Dorado – El Dorado School, 116 N. 7th
Hobart – First United Methodist, 201 S. Washington
McAlester – Salvation Army Office, 400 N. A Street
Woodward – Woodward American Red Cross Chapter, 1209 Ninth Street
Wynnewood – First Baptist Church
An open warming center is capable of turning into a shelter at any time if officials determine a need for overnight sheltering.
The American Red Cross remains ready to open more shelters as needed and currently has additional capacity in the shelters that are open. Additional shelters will be opened as necessary. For more shelter information, contact the Red Cross at (888) 405-9543.
Salvation Army reports they are deploying mobile feeding units and crews to assist in Altus and possibly Anadarko. Chickasha Salvation Army is assisting with the Grady County Fairgrounds warming center/shelter. At the Lawton Salvation Army power is restored and they are able to continue to take in additional people needing shelter from the storm. Personnel from Ardmore, Enid and Oklahoma City are involved in these efforts. Additional Salvation Army personnel remain on standby to assist if necessary.
The Oklahoma Department of Human Services is supplying some shelters with USDA food commodities.
Additionally, Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief is supporting the shelters with feeding sites. Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief also has chainsaw teams on standby to assist with removing downed tree branches in the affected areas.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) is working with all hospitals, nursing homes and other private partners to ensure that citizens’ needs are met. Currently there are 10 hospitals that are on back-up generators. OSDH has a team of liaison officers working closely with these facilities to ensure the quality of care is being maintained. Many of the private partners and support agencies in these impacted communities cannot provide for day-to-day supplies. These critical resources must be transported from great distances. OSDH is working with OHP to get the resources to these areas. As with other supplies and resources, in many cases roads are impassable.
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. Please only call 911 for emergencies.