Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
Situation Update 6
May 23, 2013 11:30 a.m.
SEVERE WEATHER IMPACTS STATE
Due to widespread tornado damage and a renewed round of severe weather, the State Emergency Operations Center remains activated.
The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) is in contact with emergency managers across the state and coordinating with the Oklahoma National Guard, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma Department of Human Services, Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security, Oklahoma Department of Transportation, Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, Office of Management and Enterprise Services, Oklahoma Insurance Department, Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Service, National Weather Service, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Medical Reserve Corps, American Red Cross, the Salvation Army and the Oklahoma Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD).
The State has launched a website, okstrong.ok.gov, to provide up-to-date information and resources. Individuals affected by the storm are urged to report their whereabouts on the American Red Cross website, safeandwell.org.
Search and rescue efforts in Moore, Oklahoma City, Shawnee and Carney are complete. Recovery operations are ongoing. All missing persons have been accounted for at this time.
In the Moore area, preliminary debris removal planning is underway. The City of Moore will lead debris removal efforts. Numerous agencies stand ready to assist the City of Moore in these efforts.
In the Shawnee and Carney areas, debris removal planning has also begun.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency will pay 85 percent of debris removal costs for the first 30 days. FEMA will pay smaller percentages of debris removal costs after 30 days.
In the Moore area, the Oklahoma National Guard remains activated, with 176 members deployed in 50 vehicles throughout the area. The Guard is also assisting with providing drinking water to the area.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol reports 31 troopers and 10 additional state law enforcement personnel staffing 23 perimeter checkpoints in the Moore area. An additional 75 officers from Moore and other jurisdictions are also assisting within the perimeter.
Responding agencies and organizations are continuing to organize resources to feed up to 40,000 people in the Moore, Shawnee and Carney areas over the coming days.
The Oklahoma Office of the Chief Medical Examiner reports 24 fatalities related to Monday’s storms.
Two fatalities are attributed to Sunday’s storms in the Shawnee and Carney areas.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) reports that local hospitals have treated 377 individuals for injuries as a result of this week’s storms.
Thursday’s flash flooding and severe weather conditions have caused various complications to ongoing response efforts within the affected areas.
A severe thunderstorm warning covering many of the areas affected by this week’s storms in Canadian and Oklahoma counties was set to expire at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.
The National Weather Service has issued flash flood warnings until 12:45 p.m. Thursday in the following areas:
- WESTERN MCCLAIN COUNTY IN CENTRAL OKLAHOMA...
- OKLAHOMA COUNTY IN CENTRAL OKLAHOMA...
- CENTRAL KINGFISHER COUNTY IN CENTRAL OKLAHOMA...
- NORTHEASTERN GRADY COUNTY IN CENTRAL OKLAHOMA...
- CLEVELAND COUNTY IN CENTRAL OKLAHOMA...
- EASTERN CANADIAN COUNTY IN CENTRAL OKLAHOMA...
- SOUTHWESTERN LOGAN COUNTY IN CENTRAL OKLAHOMA...
A round of severe thunderstorms Thursday morning has resulted in flash flooding in some of the areas affected by this week’s storms. According to the National Weather Service:
THUNDERSTORMS PRODUCING HEAVY RAINFALL CONTINUE FROM EASTERN PARTS OF CANADIAN COUNTY INTO OKLAHOMA AND CLEVELAND COUNTIES. FLOODING IS ALREADY IN PROGRESS FROM VERY HEAVY RAIN EARLIER THIS MORNING. CREEKS AND SMALL STREAMS IN THE AREA ARE FLOODING OR RUNNING BANKFULL AND SOME ROADWAYS ARE BLOCKED BY HIGH WATER. ADDITIONAL HEAVY RAIN IS LIKELY IN THE NEXT HOUR OR SO AS SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS CONTINUE TO MOVE THROUGH THE AREA.
SOME LOCATIONS THAT WILL EXPERIENCE FLOODING INCLUDE OKLAHOMA CITY, NORMAN, EDMOND, MIDWEST CITY, MOORE, DEL CITY, EL RENO, KINGFISHER, STELLA, YUKON, BETHANY, CONCHO, MUSTANG, THE VILLAGE, WARR ACRES, CHOCTAW, PURCELL, NEWCASTLE, NOBLE, TUTTLE, NICHOLS HILLS, SPENCER, PIEDMONT, SLAUGHTERVILLE, NICOMA PARK, LEXINGTON, GOLDSBY, OKARCHE, CASHION AND WASHINGTON.
The Oklahoma City/County Health Department, Cleveland County Health Department, Pottawatomie County Health Department and Lincoln County Health Department continue to provide vaccinations to volunteers and recovery workers. Local health departments are also working to assess shelters, provide resource information to victims, and inspect food vendors to ensure public health and safety.
To date, over 700 tetanus vaccinations have been given to responders, volunteers and tornado victims by local health departments. This includes 149 vaccinations in Lincoln County, 250 vaccinations in Cleveland County, 216 vaccination in Pottawatomie County, and approximately 90 vaccinations in Oklahoma County.
Local health departments are coordinating efforts with the Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps (OKMRC) to supplement staffing for various efforts. Over 1,000 new volunteers have signed up with the OKMRC since Monday.
The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS) has established an emergency response center within the tornado disaster zone in Moore at the Cleveland County Health Department, 424 S Eastern Ave. in Moore. ODMHSAS is also coordinating volunteer efforts and providing mandatory training for behavioral health professionals wishing to assist with services for those in need. Licensed mental health professionals, certified case managers or certified recovery support specialists who would like to assist victims should call (405) 522-3908. To be admitted into the disaster zone, volunteers must have received training and hold a valid identification badge. Badges will be issued by the ODMHSAS at the completion of training.
ODMHSAS is also offering services through the Disaster Distress Helpline, 1 (800) 985-5990. The helpline can provide immediate counseling to anyone who needs help dealing emotionally with the aftermath of the storms.
The Cleveland County Health Department has deployed mental health strike teams to shelters, and the Pottawatomie County Health Department has coordinated nurses to support American Red Cross shelters.
Individuals who want to volunteer to help with disaster relief should register on the Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps (OKMRC) website at www.okmrc.org. OKMRC is designed to bring together different healthcare-related organizations and members of the community, including physicians, nurses, public health workers, and other medical professionals. In addition, volunteers without a background in medical training are needed.
Northbound and southbound lanes of I-35 through Moore are open and all I-35 off-ramps in the Moore area are reopened except southbound I-35 at SW 19th. However, emergency and cleanup crews are requesting motorists to avoid I-35 in Moore. Heavy traffic in the area is hindering cleanup operations and ongoing emergency response.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation reports no road closures in the Shawnee or Carney areas.
FEMA is assisting OEM and other agencies in the process of assessing damage to structures. The assessment is ongoing due to the wide scope of damage sustained in the affected area. FEMA officials are also assessing the need for temporary housing for affected individuals.
Oklahoma Insurance Department officials estimate up to $2 billion in damage may have occurred in the affected areas.
President Barack Obama has issued a major disaster declaration for Cleveland, Lincoln, McClain, Oklahoma and Pottawatomie counties. The declaration makes individual assistance available to tornado survivors in those counties. All affected individuals, regardless of income level or insurance policy status, are encouraged to apply for individual assistance. The same counties were also approved for public assistance to include debris removal, emergency protective measures and direct federal assistance.
Homeowners, renters and business owners in those counties are encouraged to register with FEMA for potential recovery assistance. Survivors can register online at disasterassistance.gov, via smartphone at m.fema.gov, or by calling 1-800-621-3362. FEMA officials are on the ground in Moore and Shawnee to provide information about registration. FEMA officials are also registering individuals on site with iPads. FEMA disaster recovery centers where individuals can receive face-to-face assistance are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at:
- First Baptist Church, 301 NE 27th St., Moore
- Heart of Oklahoma Expo Center, 1700 W Independence, Shawnee
More than 2,200 Oklahomans have already registered for disaster assistance.
U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will provide support to homeowners and low-income renters forced from their homes due to the storms. The President’s declaration allows HUD to offer certain foreclosure relief and other assistance to certain families living in the five disaster counties. Individuals who were receiving HUD rental assistance before the disaster should contact their Public Housing Authority, multi-family apartment manager or local HUD office for help in locating temporary housing.
Classes at Moore Public Schools have been canceled for the remainder of the school year. Graduations will continue as planned.
In the Moore area, preliminary water line testing by the Department of Environmental Quality shows no problems with drinking water. More testing is underway.
Wireless telecommunications providers have taken steps to boost wireless communications capabilities in the area. Some providers have established telecommunication centers for residents and rescue workers to use at the following locations:
- Moore Community Center, 301 N Broadway, Moore - A Cox Communications center has free open WiFi, local and long distance calling and HD video service. Cox is also opening up Cox TV Connect access for those impacted so they can have video viewing capabilities outside of the home.
- Walmart, 501 SW 19th, Moore – Verizon Wireless has a trailer in place to serve families and the general public with emergency phones, charging stations, internet capability, and more.
- Home Depot, 650 SW 19th, Moore – Verizon Wireless has a unit in place with emergency phones, charging stations, internet capability and more.
- Shawnee High School, 1001 N Kennedy, Shawnee – Verizon Wireless has employees on site providing mobile charging stations, emergency phones and internet capability.
In addition Verizon Wireless has three Chevrolet Tahoes equipped with mobile telecommunications capabilities that are combing through the affected areas looking for individuals who may benefit from using the equipment.
Investigators with the Oklahoma Attorney General's Office are investigating instances of price gouging and ask that anyone who experiences price gouging to contact the AG's Office immediately on the fraud hotline at (405) 521-2029. The practice is illegal. Also, the first scams typically seen following such tragic situations are charity fraud. Please stay alert and only donate to reputable charities.
Recipients of SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program commonly known as "food stamps") whose households were impacted by the storms and have lost their food benefit cards should contact their county Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) worker and request a lost food replacement. Persons needing food assistance can apply for SNAP at their local county OKDHS office.
SHELTERS AND MASS CARE
An estimated 377 individuals are in American Red Cross shelters. The following shelters remain open:
- St. Andrew's United Methodist Church - 2727 SW 119, Oklahoma City
- Moore Community Center - 201 S Howard, Moore
- Shawnee High School Athletic Center - 1001 N Kennedy, Shawnee
- St. Gregory’s University - 1900 W MacArthur St., Shawnee
The University of Oklahoma Housing & Food Services is open for those displaced by the tornadoes. For more information, please call 405-325-2511.
The American Red Cross encourages the use of their website, www.safeandwell.org, which is designed to help family and friends reunite.
Feed The Children is accepting donations of diapers, canned goods, non-perishable food and snack items, water and sports drinks, and cash donations at the following locations:
- Feed The Children McCormick Distribution Center, 29 N. McCormick, Oklahoma City
- First Baptist Church, 1201 N. Robinson, Oklahoma City
- KOCO-TV, 1300 East Britton Road, Oklahoma City
- Faith Church, I-40 and Portland, Oklahoma City
- TLC Garden Center, 105 West Memorial Road. Edmond
- Continental Resources, 20 N. Broadway, Oklahoma City
- Thermal Windows, 6405 NW 23rd Street, Bethany
- Cornerstone Church, 9900 SE 15th Street, Midwest City
- Half-Price Books, I-240 and S. Penn, Oklahoma City
The Salvation Army has 10 canteens deployed to the Moore and Newcastle areas. Two canteens remain in Shawnee. The Salvation Army is coordinating with Southern Baptist Disaster Relief for meal preparation for The Salvation Army and American Red Cross to then distribute.
Oklahoma Corporation Commission reports approximately 9,300 outages related to the storms.
OKC North: 196
OKC South: 260
OKC West: 269
OKC Metro Total: 8,344
Canadian Valley Electric Cooperative
Oklahoma Electric Cooperative
Most in S OKC, Moore
People's Electric Cooperative
Pauls Valley, Wynnewood, Sulphur areas
Found animals are being taken to the following sites:
- Oklahoma City Animal Shelter, SE 29th and Bryant
- Moore Animal Shelter, 3900 S Interstate 35 Service Road
- City of Norman Animal Shelter, 615 E Robinson
- Animal Resource Center, 7949 S Interstate 35 Service Road, Oklahoma City
Pet owners searching for lost pets are encouraged to check okclostpets.com and the Facebook page for the McClain County Animal Response Team.
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.