Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
Situation Update 11
January 30, 2009 – 11 a.m.
WINTER STORM CONTINUES TO IMPACT STATE
The State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has returned to Level One activation. Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) staff has returned to regular hours while maintaining 24-hour contact with emergency managers in the affected areas through the duty officer. Additionally, OEM personnel remain in the field, continuing to assist jurisdictions with electric, water and sheltering needs.
STATE OF EMERGENCY
A State of Emergency continues for all 77 Oklahoma counties, per executive order issued by Gov. Brad Henry on Monday. The executive order marks a first step toward seeking federal assistance should it be necessary. Additionally, the order allows state agencies to make emergency purchases and acquisitions needed to expedite the delivery of resources to local jurisdictions. The Governor also issued an executive order aimed at helping utility crews handle storm-related repairs, allowing a 30-day waiver on permit requirements for use of overweight and oversized vehicles.
FATALITIES AND INJURIES
Five deaths are now attributed to the storm. A Tulsa man died Thursday from injuries sustained in a crash that occurred Monday in Tulsa, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP). A Kansas woman died Wednesday in a wreck in Kay County. Two Tulsa men died Monday in separate crashes; one on the Turner Turnpike near Chandler, the other on the Will Rogers Turnpike near Afton. Additionally, the State Office of the Chief Medical Examiner reports a truck driver died of carbon monoxide poisoning. He was found Wednesday in the cab of his truck in Woodward.
During the storm, OHP worked more than 1,150 weather related collisions, 200 involving injury.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) tracked medical care needs during the incident. Statewide Emergency Medical Services responded to approximately 853 motor vehicle accidents in which 527 individuals needed to be transported. OSDH tracked slips and falls injuries and statewide identified 482, with 353 requiring transport to a health care facility. Statewide there were also 14 sledding accidents in which 11 needed transport.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission reports 17,529 homes and businesses across the state are without electric service due to the ice storm.
Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives (OAEC) reports 17,529 electric cooperative customers are without power. The largest number of outages continues in Cherokee and Adair counties where ice accumulations were 2 inches in some areas. Below is a list of current affected electric cooperatives, the location of their office and the number of power outages.
Cookson Hills Electric (Stigler) – 150
East Central Oklahoma Electric (Okmulgee) – 2,000
Kiamichi Electric Cooperative (Wilburton) -- 50
Lake Region Electric Cooperative (Hulbert) – 5,247
Ozarks Electric Cooperative (Fayetteville, Ark.) – 10,082
Municipal Electric Systems of Oklahoma reports power is restored to all customers whose homes can safely receive service at this time.
SHELTERS AND FEEDING
The American Red Cross continues to operate shelters to assist those impacted by the ice storm at the following locations:
Stilwell -- First Baptist Church, 801 W. Hickory
Westville -- Assembly of God, Hwy. 62 East
Tahlequah -- First United Methodist Church, 300 W. Delaware
Cookson – TACO Building (Tenkiller Area Community Organization), 31521 S. 540 Road
99 individuals stayed at the shelters Thursday night; 44 in Tahlequah, 7 in Cookson, 24 in Westville, and 24 in Stilwell.
Southern Baptist Disaster Relief continues to provide meals to the shelters from their mobile kitchen, now located at the Baptist Church Camp in Cookson. Red Cross is transporting the meals from the Southern Baptist kitchen. Since Monday, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief has provided about 3,500 meals.
Today, the Red Cross is expanding mobile feeding in Emergency Response Vehicles and vans. The boundaries will be the Arkansas border on the east, Hwy. 10 in Cherokee County on the west, Siloam Springs in the north and Cookson to the south. Red Cross will be focusing on towns on the main roads. They include but are not limited to Eldon, Proctor, Christie, Welling, Park Hill, Cookson, Scraper, and West Siloam Springs.
Additionally, Southern Baptist Chain Saw Teams are in Tahlequah, Westville and Cookson assisting homeowners where extensive amounts of trees and branches brought down by the ice storm are blocking access to driveways and walkways and where the debris is on rooftops of homes as well. The teams are available to assist the elderly, widows, those who are handicapped or have special needs, single parent moms, and wives of deployed military. Anyone wanting more information may call the Baptist churches in Tahlequah, Westville and Cookson.
Sunny skies will continue through the weekend with temperatures in the 60s.
OEM personnel remain in Tahlequah, Westville and other affected areas where they are assisting with resource requests and coordination.
Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) crews report mostly dry conditions on highways and interstates. However, some wet and slick areas remain with continued re-freezing. Drivers are asked to continue to watch out for road clearing equipment as crews continue their efforts. Drivers should remain cautious of "black ice" conditions, which looks wet on the roadway but is a thin layer of ice. ODOT will continue to have crews working shifts as needed until the remains of this recent winter storm are cleared. SH-10 in Cherokee County remains restricted to cars and small trucks.
Drivers are reminded of the following safety tips:
Slow down, be patient and allow extra time in reaching destinations.
Be alert and stay at least 200 feet behind road clearing equipment; materials are spread without notice and crews need room to maneuver.
Allow extra space between vehicles so there is adequate distance for braking in wet and icy conditions.
Drive cautiously and for the conditions on the roadway.
To check CURRENT ROAD CONDITIONS call the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety's ROAD CONDITIONS HOTLINE 888-425-2385. For out-of-state road conditions: Arkansas 800-245-1672; Missouri 800-222-6400; Texas 800-452-9292
BLOOD DONATIONS NEEDED
The Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI) is experiencing a critical shortage of all types of blood due to decreases in donations during the recent ice storm. Weather-related injuries and higher-than-usual numbers of organ transplants and other medical needs of Oklahomans in hospitals have depleted the organization’s typical, three-day supply. OBI is facing a blood emergency and needs all types of blood. The current supply of blood is at less than a typical, one-day supply. OBI encourages all Oklahomans, age 17 and older, who are not currently affected by the weather conditions to donate this week. To schedule an appointment to donate blood at any OBI site, call 1-866-341-8728, or visit www.obi.org to see a list of blood drives and donor centers.
A limited number of schools remain closed today.
For non-emergency disaster or health and human service information, Oklahomans are urged to call 2-1-1. The 2-1-1 line is statewide and provides one phone number to call from your home or cell phone where a specialist can assess the caller’s needs and determine what service providers in the area are best equipped to provide assistance. 2-1-1 services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Due to high call volumes, you may receive a busy signal when calling 2-1-1. Should you experience this, please leave a message at the prompt or remain on the line and a specialist will be with you as soon as possible. 2-1-1 Oklahoma consists of 7 call regions operational in all 77 Oklahoma counties. The call regions are located in the following:
Ada/Southeastern OK: 2-1-1 or 580-332-0558
Bartlesville/Northeastern OK: 2-1-1 or 918-336-2255
Enid/North Central OK: 2-1-1 or 580-237-4357
Lawton/Southwest OK: 2-1-1 or 580-355-7575
OKC Metro/Central OK: 2-1-1 or 405-286-4057
Tulsa Area/Green Country OK: 2-1-1 or 918-836-4357
Woodward/Northwest OK: 2-1-1 or 580-256-6819
For more information, visit www.211oklahoma.org.