Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 28, 2007 – 7:30 p.m. Update #7
The National Weather Service advises there is a potential for a significant flash flood event tonight in an area along the I-44 corridor. Additional rainfall amounts of 3 to 4 inches with locally higher amounts in excess of 5 inches are possible.
Particularly hard hit by today’s heavy rainfall were Caddo, Comanche, Payne, Tillman and Stephens counties. For the 16th consecutive day the Oklahoma City metropolitan area received rain. The weak low pressure system responsible for the recent rainfall and flooding is forecast to remain in the region through the weekend.
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.
No storm related power outages reported at this time.
No shelters reported open at this time.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation and Oklahoma Highway Patrol remind motorists to slow down, drive for wet road conditions and 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.
All 77 Oklahoma counties remain under a State of Emergency.
Oklahoma Military Department water trailers remain in Chickasha to provide potable water for the southern portion of the community which remains under a mandatory boil order. OEM deployed the water trailers after the city lost a substantial amount of treated water Tuesday night due to a water main break.
OEM and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) representatives continue to join local officials in conducting joint preliminary damage assessments (PDAs). 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.
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.
Local Damage Reports
Comanche County Emergency Management continues to monitor the flooding situation. Comanche County commissioners are out with crews setting out road caution signs and monitoring areas prone to flash flooding. Minor to moderate flooding is occurring on a majority of the roadways. For information regarding road closings, go to www.comanchecounty.us. The Lake Lawtonka Dam has all flood gates opened at 11 inches.
Jefferson County Emergency Management reports early damage surveys show at least 10 bridges washed out by flooding.
Kingfisher/Kingfisher County Emergency Management reports some residents on the west side of Dover have self-evacuated due to flooding. Three water rescues were made today; two west of Hennessey and one northwest of Kingfisher. Kingfisher, Cashion and Hennessey fire departments responded. Cimarron River is at 19.5 feet. Flood stage is 17 feet. Flooding is affecting crop lands at this time. County officials are monitoring Turkey Creek and Kingfisher creeks for possible flooding.
Marietta/Love County Emergency Management reports all low-lying areas along the Red River have flooded anywhere from a half-mile to a mile away from the river. This is all farmland and no homes are in danger. Warnings that were conducted Tuesday night were taken seriously by landowners and there are no reports of any livestock in danger. This afternoon the water level was 27.49 feet. It is expected to crest at 29.9 feet around 7 a.m. tomorrow.
Shawnee/Pottawatomie County Emergency Management continues to operate a hotline for residents affected by the flooding. Residents and business owners are urged to report their damages by calling (405) 878-1777 between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.