Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 14, 2007 -- Update #11
JOINT PRELIMINARY DAMAGE ASSESSMENTS BEGIN WEDNESDAY
The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) continues to receive damage reports related to the flooding, severe storms and tornadoes the state has experienced since Friday, May 4. OEM personnel remain in contact with local emergency managers whose jurisdictions were affected by the storms.
Recovery efforts continue in many Oklahoma cities, towns and counties. On Wednesday, joint preliminary damage assessments (PDAs) will begin in counties impacted by the severe weather. Teams of OEM, Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and local officials will survey roads, bridges and other infrastructure damaged by the severe weather. Initial PDAs will concentrate on the following 23 counties: Atoka, Beckham, Blaine, Bryan, Canadian, Cherokee, Comanche, Delaware, Dewey, Ellis, Kay, Kiowa, Lincoln, McIntosh, Noble, Nowata, Okfuskee, Oklahoma, Ottawa, Roger Mills, Rogers, Seminole and Woodward. If additional damage reports are received, more PDAs will be scheduled.
Gov. Brad Henry’s State of Emergency declaration for all 77 Oklahoma counties remains in effect. The declaration provides a formal mechanism for local governments to seek reimbursement for recovery costs through the state’s disaster public assistance program, should conditions warrant. It also serves as a prelude to a federal disaster request, should one be necessary.
Injuries and Fatalities
One fatality and two minor injuries are attributed to the severe weather which began May 4.
Comanche County Emergency Management reports clean up continues in the Cache area where homes were damaged by flooding last week. The Southern Baptist Men’s chain saw unit is working at individual homes, helping to remove trees and brush. The Salvation Army and the Methodist Church of Cache continue to supply the affected residents with water and food. Comanche County continues to provide heavy equipment and personnel to assist the neighborhood as needed. The Great Plains Chapter of the American Red Cross continues to operate an assistance center at Cameron Baptist Church in Lawton. Comanche County residents who have damage to their homes and other property due to flooding and other severe weather can apply for assistance at the center. Local officials report about 50 homes were damaged or destroyed by the flooding. Numerous county roads and bridges have also been damaged or destroyed.
Okfuskee County Emergency Management reports many of the road repairs that were completed following the January ice storm have been washed away. Some roads along the Deep Fork and Canadian rivers remain closed due to high water.