Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
Situation Update 2
May 24, 2011 – 7:30 p.m.
STATE EOC REMAINS ACTIVATED DUE TO SEVERE WEATHER
The State Emergency Operations Center remains activated as severe storms, some accompanied by tornadoes, continue to impact Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) is in contact with emergency managers across the state and represented in the EOC are the: Oklahoma National Guard, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma Department of Human Services, Oklahoma Department of Transportation, National Weather Service, American Red Cross and Salvation Army.
STATE OF EMERGENCY
A State of Emergency remains in effect for 14 Oklahoma counties as declared by Gov. Mary Fallin earlier today for tornadoes, straight line winds and flooding that began Sunday. The counties included in the executive order are Adair, Blaine, Cherokee, Craig, Delaware, Kiowa, Mayes, Muskogee, Nowata, Okmulgee, Osage, Ottawa, Rogers and Wagoner. The declaration can be amended to add additional counties as necessary. Under the executive order, state agencies can make emergency purchases and acquisitions needed to expedite the delivery of resources to local jurisdictions. The declaration also marks a first step toward seeking federal assistance should it be necessary.
Additionally, the Oklahoma Commissioner of Public Safety, as authorized by the Governor, closed state agencies today at 3 p.m. due to severe weather conditions in the following counties: Canadian, Cleveland, Lincoln, Logan, McClain, Oklahoma, and Pottawatomie.
FATALITIES AND INJURIES
4 fatalities are attributed to the storm, according to the Oklahoma State Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. The deaths occurred in Canadian County.
60 injuries are attributed to the storm, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health.
A tornado outbreak continues across Oklahoma this evening. Several storms capable of producing a tornado continue just west of Shawnee, near Tinker Air Force Base, near Wellston, Tribbey, Madill, and Quay.
Damage is reported in Calumet, Chickasha, Concho, Deer Creek, Dibble, El Reno, Goldsby, Guthrie, Hinton, Longdale, Lookeba, Newcastle, Piedmont and Washington.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission reports about 57,739 homes and business are without electric service due to the storm, including the following.
PSO reports 12,562 customers without power including 9,471in Chickasha and 3,091 in Weatherford.
OG&E reports 45,177 customers (including 7,359 in Guthrie, 6,352 in Alma and 9,489 in Oklahoma City) without service.
Blain County Emergency Management reports that a tornado struck the Canadian Recreation Area campground on Canton Lake.
Chickasha Emergency Management reports that several businesses and part of an apartment complex have been damaged. Several injuries have also been reported.
Kingfisher County Emergency Management reports damage south of Cashion and in the town of Piedmont due to the same tornado. Kingfisher Task Force and Piedmont Fire Department are responding to both locations.
Logan County Emergency Management reports several homes have been damaged by the tornado. Preliminary damage assessments are underway.
Woodward County Emergency Management reports that the Cedar Springs Church has been destroyed. There has also been damage to the Canadian Valley trailer park where 60 mobile homes and trailers have been destroyed at Canton Lake.
WEATHER SAFETY TIPS
Keeping informed about the weather is the best way to avoid being caught in a tornado or severe thunderstorm. A battery operated NOAA Weather Radio with a warning alarm feature should be a part of your information system!
It’s also critical that you think about tornado safety before there’s a storm on the horizon, and plan what you will do to stay safe no matter where you may be when storms threaten.
Remember these basic guidelines:
GET IN - get as far inside a strong building as you can, away from doors and windows
GET DOWN - get to the lowest floor
COVER UP - use whatever you can to protect yourself from flying or falling debris
- A reinforced underground storm shelter, storm cellar, enclosed basement or safe room are usually the safest places in a tornado. Underground shelters get you out of the way of flying and falling debris, which is a tornado’s most lethal weapon.
- If you cannot get underground, remember the basic guidelines. Get as far inside the strongest building you can find. Stay away from doors, windows and other openings to the outside. Put as many walls between you and the outside as you can.
- Get as low as you can. Go to the lowest floor of the building you’re in.
- Cover up to protect yourself from flying and falling debris. Use whatever you can. Find pillows, blankets, sleeping bags, mattresses. Wearing a helmet or hardhat will help protect your head from debris.
- Being outdoors, in a mobile home, or in a vehicle are all unsafe in a tornado or severe thunderstorm. Find stronger shelter before the storm arrives and remember to get in, get down and cover up.
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.
Next Situation Update: As conditions warrant