Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 26, 2007 – 1:30 p.m. Update #4
A weak low pressure system remained over southwest Oklahoma today. This is the same system that affected the region late last week. This system, when combined with tropical moisture across the state, has resulted in widespread showers and thunderstorms. Rainfall reports from the last 24 hours show 1 to 2 inches received across much of the state, except for northwest Oklahoma. Isolated higher amounts of 4 to 6 inches of rain were reported in Grady, Stephens, Jefferson, McCurtain and Cotton counties.
Rain has been recorded at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City daily since June 13th. The Oklahoma City metro area has already received more rain in the first six months of 2007 than was received during the entire year of 2006.
The forecast calls for rain chances to continue through Saturday. A flash flood watch is in effect for much of the state through Wednesday evening.
The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) continues to receive damage reports from counties, cities and towns impacted by storms and flooding. OEM remains in contact with emergency managers in the affected areas.
Injuries and Fatalities
On June 18, three people sustained minor injuries when their pickup washed down a creek in Pontotoc County. All three were rescued: two were treated at the scene; one was transported to a nearby hospital. No additional injuries reported.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission reports no power outages at this time. Earlier today the town of Tipton was without electric service. Around 9:45 a.m. PSO restored power to the Tillman County community of 916. Earlier today OG&E reported power outages to 3,398 homes and businesses in north Oklahoma City.
No shelters reported open at this time.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol reports SH-59, three miles east of US177, is closed due to high water at Blacksmith Creek. In Shawnee, 45th Street between West Bryant and East Harrison is flooded. SH-9 at Earlsboro is also flooded. Oklahoma Department of Transportation advises SH-9A is closed at Salt Creek in Seminole County due to high water; SH-9A is also closed at Little River in Pottawatomie County due to high water; SH-4 is closed between US-66 and SH-3; SH-74 is closed between 150th Street and 178th Street; and, in Logan County SH-105 is closed at Anderson Road.
Motorists are urged to slow down and drive for wet road conditions. Motorists are also urged to avoid driving into high water or any moving water. It only takes a minimal amount of moving water for cars to be swept away. Motorists who encounter flooded roads should turn around and find an alternate route. Flash floods are the number one cause of weather-related deaths in the nation.
Local Damage Reports
Comanche County Emergency Management reports county commissioners are asking all citizens to use extreme caution while driving due to possible roadway flooding. As of 8:30 a.m. today, Easy Cache Creek was at 27.73 feet, 6.73 feet above flood stage. County road crews continue to assess roadways for high water conditions.
Oklahoma County Emergency Management reports high water conditions on some roadways especially in eastern and northeastern areas of the county. All low lying areas that are subject to flooding should be approached with caution. Any roads with moving water should be avoided as there could be damage to the road not visible to the motorist. Due to high water, Anderson Road is closed north of Britton Road and Choctaw Road is closed between Sorghum Mill and Waterloo. Motorists are also urged to travel with caution on Wilshire, just east of Spencer-Jones Road, on Hiwassee south of US-66 and on 164th Street between Peebly and Triple X roads where intermittent periods of high water continue. Low lying areas around Arcadia are also at risk for flooding. If conditions persist, flooding could extend to other portions of the county.
Seminole County Emergency Management reports in Maud occupants of eight homes were displaced due to flooding.
Shawnee/Pottawatomie County Emergency Management reports some urban flooding in and around Shawnee and Tecumseh. Evacuations are underway in Tecumseh. The American Red Cross has been contacted for assistance.
Damage Assessments Continue
OEM and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) representatives continue to join local officials in conducting joint preliminary damage assessments (PDAs) related to weather systems that moved through the state since Memorial Day weekend. The PDAs are needed to gauge whether the damages to infrastructure and the costs associated with responding to the storms meet the criteria to qualify for disaster assistance.
State and local officials are also in the process of confirming the number of homes and businesses damaged by the storms. Residents and business owners who sustained uninsured or under-insured property damage are urged to report the damage information to their local emergency manager.
Recovery from May 4-11 Storms Continues
A federal disaster declaration remains in effect for 17 Oklahoma counties to provide public assistance related to the severe storms, flooding and tornadoes that occurred in the state May 4-11. The 17 counties that qualified for public assistance are: Atoka, Beckham, Blaine, Caddo, Comanche, Dewey, Ellis, Greer, Kay, Kiowa, Lincoln, Noble, Nowata, Okfuskee, Pottawatomie, Roger Mills and Seminole. OEM and FEMA representatives are holding applicant briefings with local officials in the declared counties. An applicants' briefing is a meeting conducted to inform prospective applicants of available assistance and eligibility requirements for obtaining that assistance.
OEM continues to work with officials in nine additional counties where damage from the May 4-11 storm was identified but where initial damage assessments in those counties did not meet the per capita requirement for federal disaster assistance. Additional damage surveys are now underway in Bryan, Canadian, Garfield, Grady, Hughes, Logan, McIntosh, Sequoyah and Woodward counties.