Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Situation Update 12
January 31, 2010, 12:30 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, Oklahoma Department of Agriculture Food and Forestry, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA.
Oklahoma remains under an emergency disaster declaration. On Saturday President Barrack Obama approved Gov. Henry’s request for the federal disaster aid covering all 77 Oklahoma counties. The emergency declaration authorizes federal resources to assist state and local governments as they continue to respond to the severe winter storm. These resources include industrial size generators, bottled water, cots and blankets. The need for additional federal disaster aid to cover further response and recovery costs is currently being assessed.
Oklahoma also remains under a State of Emergency, as declared by Gov. Henry on Wednesday. The State of Emergency allows state agencies to make emergency purchases and acquisitions needed to expedite the delivery of resources to local jurisdictions. The executive order provides a formal mechanism for local governments to seek reimbursement for recovery costs through the state’s disaster public assistance program if conditions warrant.
PRICE GOUGING STATUTE IN EFFECT
Oklahoma’s price gouging statute is in effect in all of Oklahoma’s 77 counties due to the State of Emergency. The price gouging statute prohibits an increase of more than 10 percent in the price of most goods and services when a State of Emergency has been declared. Anyone who suspects price gouging is urged to contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit at (405) 521-2029.
INJURIES AND FATALITIES
Three fatalities are attributed to the winter storm.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) reports a 33-year-old Holdenville man died this morning in a one-vehicle crash one mile north of US 270 on SH 48 in Hughes County. A passenger in the car, another Holdenville man, was treated and released from Holdenville General Hospital.
The Office of the State Medical Examiner reports:
-- A 73-year-old Pontotoc County man died Saturday in a house fire after using a wood-burning stove due to power outages.
-- A 70-year-old Ada woman died Friday after a propane tank exploded at her home. The propane tank was being used to fuel a generator due to power outages. Her husband was hospitalized in critical condition due to the incident.
OHP has worked 568 storm related crashes, including 120 involving injury since the storm began. The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) reports 10 people have been treated for carbon monoxide poisoning. Additionally, OSDH reports 325 injuries from slips and falls and 70 injuries from motor vehicle accidents related to the storm.
As temperatures warm into the 30s across much of the state, Oklahomans are reminded to watch out for falling ice. Freezing fog may form again tonight in parts of Oklahoma. Winds are expected to remain less than 10 mph. Temperatures will warm into the mid-40s on Monday which will allow much of the ice to melt in southwest and south central areas of the state. Rain is still expected Wednesday through Friday across southern Oklahoma however, it won’t rain all the time.
Today's melting may create some temporary "spikes" in outages during the afternoon. As ice melts, the weight shift may cause lines to bounce together. However, overall outages should continue to decrease as crews continue their work to restore service.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission reports 92,460 homes and businesses are without electric service due to the winter storm, which includes the following.
PSO reports 36,304 customers without power including those in:
Chickasha area - 10,462
Clinton - 154
Duncan area - 733
Hobart area - 6,351
Lawton area - 16,513
Tipton area - 1,999
The Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority reports 15,108 customers without power in:
The Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives (OAEC) reports 36,082 customers without power in:
Caddo Electric, Binger: 6,891
Canadian Valley Electric, Seminole: 5,000
Cotton Electric, Walters: 9,290
East Central OK Electric, Okmulgee: 800
Harmon Electric Association, Hollis: 3,303
Kiwash Electric, Cordell: 2,000
Northfork Electric, Sayre: 64
Oklahoma Electric, Norman: 845
Ozarks Electric, Stilwell, Fayetteville: 0
People’s Electric, Ada: 1,889
Rural Electric, Lindsay: 4,500
SW Rural Electric, Tipton: 1,500
OG&E reports 4,966 customers (including 998 in Wewoka and 827 in Ada) are without service.
OG&E continues to operate customer walk-up centers in Ada, Seminole and Pauls Valley. The centers provide 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 locations are:
Ada: Apple Market, 220 E. 13th Street
Seminole: Homeland Store, 1701 N. Milt Phillips Ave.
Pauls Valley: Homeland Store, 505 S. Chickasaw Avenue
The walk-up centers are open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. They will remain open as long as they are needed.
The State EOC continues to deploy generators to provide power to critical facilities like shelters, water treatment plans and hospitals in communities impacted by the storm. 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, Duncan 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 main roadways are slick in spots. They advise motorists to drive to the conditions. In the last 48-hours troopers have provided 613 motorist assists.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) reports progress continues to clear snow and ice from Oklahoma's highways and interstates. Following a re-freeze on roadways last night, slick spots were reported this morning in counties across the state. ODOT crews are continuing round-the-clock clearing operations in many areas today. Motorists are reminded to clear all snow and ice from all windows as well as the top of their vehicle before driving.
ODOT crews continue to work around the clock to clear roadways. 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
Saturday about 3,000 people stayed at the shelters and made use of the feeding and warming centers opened due to the winter storm. The following 46 locations remain open:
Ada – Lazer Zone Family Fun Center, 14601 CR 3544
Altus – First Baptist Church, 300 N. Main
Altus – Altus Community Center, 401 Falcon Rd
Anadarko -- First Baptist Church, 700 Pettree
Apache – Clark Community Center, 301 E. Evans St
Asher -- First Baptist Church, 109 E. Main St
Brindle – Brindle Corner, 20107 E. Robinson Hwy 9
Canton -- Canton Town Hall, 207 N. Garfield
Carnegie – First Assembly of God Church, 715 E. Oklahoma
Carnegie – Kiowa Complex, 100 Kiowa Way
Carnegie -- Carnegie Elementary School, 202 West 4th St.
Chickasha - Grady County Fairgrounds, 500 East Choctaw
Concho -- Concho Community Hall, 200 Wolf Robe Circle
Cyril – Cyril Senior Center, 3 Ohio St
Duncan - Stephens County Fairgrounds, 2002 S 13th Street
Elgin – Elgin Fire Department, 7892 US Highway 277
Elmore City – First Baptist Church, 107 S Texas Ave.
Geary – Geary Community Center
Granite – Granite Public School, 206 W. Parker
Hobart - First Methodist Church, 201 S. Washington
Hollis -- Hollis Civic Center, 208 W. Jones
Lawton – Comanche Tribe Elder Center, 1107 SW H Ave
Lawton – Comanche Nation College, 1608 SW 9th
Lawton – Hunting Horse Methodist, SW 25th & E Ave.
Lawton -- Cameron Baptist Church, 2621 SW C Ave.
Lindsay -- Calvary Baptist Church, 5th and Chickasaw
Mangum - Church of New Beginnings, 408 North Tittle Ave.
Maysville – First Baptist Church, 300 Ripley St
Pauls Valley – Garvin County Fair Barn, 1401 N Willow
Purcell -- Multi-Purpose Center, 1400 Chandler Rd
Roosevelt – First Baptist Church,132 Frederick
Rush Springs – Fire Department, 110 N. 3rd
Snyder – First Baptist Church, 729 E St
Seiling -- Community Building
Tipton – First Baptist Church, 300 East Davis Ave
Watonga – Watonga Community Center
Watonga – Watonga Cheyenne-Arapaho Community Center
Anadarko – First Baptist Church, 700 Petree
Blanchard – Telephone Building, 101 E Veteran’s Memorial Hwy
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
Seminole – Seminole City Hall, 420 Reid St.
Woodward -- Woodward American Red Cross Chapter, 1209 Ninth Street
Wynnewood - First Baptist Church, 1515 E. Robert S. Kerr Blvd.
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. For more shelter information, contact the Red Cross at (888) 405-9543.
The Salvation Army continues to assist at the Grady County Fairgrounds shelter in Chickasha, where they are providing supervision and all meals. In Cyril at the Senior Center they are providing all meals as well. In Altus, they continue to provide meals to city, utility workers and first responders.
The Oklahoma Department of Human Services is supplying some shelters with USDA food commodities.
Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief is supporting the shelters with feeding sites.
On Monday, their Baptist Chainsaw groups will begin taking requests for clearing large trees from individual homes. To request assistance call: 405-388-6912, 405-496-1196 or 405-443-7583. The Baptist priorities of assistance are elderly (who needs assistance), single women with children and families with heads of households on military duty overseas.
FEMA is providing 13 trucks of water, meals ready to eat (MREs) and cots for use in shelters and to support response personnel. The supplies are scheduled to arrive in the state today.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) continues to provide support to the communities impacted by the ice storm. A second medical cache was dispatched this morning, consisting of medical oxygen and associated medical equipment, to assist area emergency medical services, hospitals and the special needs population. State health officials continue to work issues with power outages at eight hospitals, numerous nursing homes and assisted living centers. Public health nurses and sanitarians continue to work and monitor numerous shelter operations throughout the state. Regional medical response systems and personnel have been deployed since Thursday working around the clock to ensure that citizens have a quality of health care while they wait for power to be restored. The Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) has activated their local resources ensuring that additional doctors, nurses and support personnel are working the incident.
At least 325 injuries related to slips and falls on the ice and snow have been reported statewide as a result of the latest winter storm to hit Oklahoma, the Oklahoma State Department of Health said today. As more Oklahomans venture outdoors to clear their porches, sidewalks and vehicles of ice and snow, the opportunities for slips and falls increase. The OSDH urged caution, especially since thawing and refreezing of ice and snow will likely continue for several days.
While looking down to make sure their footing is secure, Oklahomans should also look up to avoid falling icicles now forming on structures as a result of the thawing and refreezing. The OSDH warns Oklahomans not to skate, slide, or sled on frozen ponds, creeks, rivers, or lakes. Although the water appears to be frozen, it may not be solid enough to support the weight of a person. Temperatures in Oklahoma are never cold enough to completely freeze recreational water.
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. 2-1-1 is a statewide service. Please only call 911 for emergencies.