Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Situation Update 10
January 14, 2007 -- noon
GOVERNOR HENRY REQUESTS FEDERAL ASSISTANCE
The State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) remains activated due to winter weather conditions that continue to impact areas of Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) is in contact with emergency managers in the affected areas and has received the following reports.
This morning, Gov. Brad Henry requested that Pres. George W. Bush approve an emergency disaster declaration for all 77 Oklahoma counties. If approved, the declaration would deliver federal resources to include generators for public facilities and bottled water for open shelters in communities impacted by power outages. The Governor's State of Emergency declaration for all 77 Oklahoma counties remains in effect.
"We're doing everything we can to help Oklahomans who have lost power or suffered other hardships because of the winter storm. State and local authorities and their partners in the private sector are doing a great job responding to this emergency, but we need additional resources that only the federal government can provide," said Gov. Henry. "We will certainly face some significant challenges in the hours and days ahead, but we will overcome them by working together. Oklahomans respond to crisis better than anyone."
Injuries and Fatalities
Since the winter weather system first impacted the state Friday morning, 11 people have died in motor vehicle collisions, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. This includes the seven who died in the I-40 crash near Elk City this morning. Numerous injuries are also reported, including those related to slips and falls and wrecks.
In addition to OEM, the Oklahoma Military Department, Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT), Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH), Oklahoma Turnpike Authority, Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP), Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC), Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives (OAEC), OG&E, American Red Cross and The Salvation Army are represented in the State EOC.
OEM is working with ODOT and the Oklahoma Military Department to deliver generators to Crowder and McAlester for shelters and to the Rural Water District in Pittsburg County to keep their water system on-line. State generators continue to keep municipal water treatment plants on-line in McAlester, Checotah and Calvin.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission reports statewide, about 94,860 electric customers are without power.
PSO reports 31,580 customers are without power throughout the state. Highest PSO outages are reported in McAlester, where 14,105 are without power, in Grove where 5,186 are without power and in Chouteau where 6,444 are without power. Other communities experiencing power outages are Atoka, Hobart, Okmulgee, Tulsa, Vinita and Wilburton.
OG&E reports 14,073 customers are without power. The largest OG&E outages are in Muskogee where 8,103 are without power and in Checotah, where 1,696 are without electricity. Other outages are reported in Ada, Eufaula, Fort Gibson, Haskell, Holdenville, Okay, Porum, Roff, Taft, Tishomingo and Warner.
Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives reports 49,207 electric cooperative customers are without power. While structural damage to poles and structures has not been extensive, ice accumulations continue to develop, especially in eastern Oklahoma. Line crews from several cooperatives continue to report up to two inches of ice on power lines in parts of eastern, northeastern and southeastern Oklahoma.
Below is a list of electric cooperatives, the location of their office and the number of power outages.
Cookson Hills Electric Cooperative (Stigler) - 1,750
Cotton Electric Cooperative (Walters) - 550
East Central Oklahoma Electric Cooperative (Okmulgee) - 7,800
Kiamichi Electric Cooperative (Wilburton) - 4,000
Lake Region Electric Cooperative (Hulbert) - 8,900
Northeast Oklahoma Electric Cooperative (Vinita) - 17,800
Oklahoma Electric Cooperative (Norman) - 90
Ozarks Electric Cooperative (Fayetteville, Ark.) - 2,500
People's Electric Cooperative (Ada) - 5,467
Southeastern Electric Cooperative (Durant) - 350
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission reports about 250 Canadian Valley Telephone customers are without service in the Canadian-Crowder area (Pittsburg County).
Since the ice storm began Friday morning, OHP has worked more than 204 collisions across the state. Officials with ODOT and OHP continue to discourage travel on the state's highways and interstates which are slick and hazardous in most areas. They also warn of black ice along with downed power lines and tree limbs which are making for dangerous driving conditions. Motorists are asked to report any road blockage to local law enforcement or OHP. ODOT reports State Highway 63 in Pittsburg County between Kiowa and Haileyville is closed due to high water. State Highway 31 west of Haywood in Pittsburg County is closed and US-69 in McAlester is diverted to Business 69 due to downed power lines. Crews continue to plow and deliver salt and sand on highways and interstates statewide. For information regarding Oklahoma roads, call 888-425-2385. For road conditions in neighboring states call: Texas, 800-452-9292; Kansas, 886-511-5368; Arkansas, 800-245-1672; and Missouri, 800-222-6400.
Airport maintenance crews have been working since Friday morning to keep Oklahoma City's Will Rogers World Airport open. However the weather conditions there and at other airports, to include Denver and Dallas/Ft Worth, have kept commercial aircraft from arriving at Will Rogers. This morning's freezing precipitation will increase the likelihood of continued airline cancellations.