Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 19, 2007 – 9:45 a.m. Update #2
STORM DAMAGE REPORTS
Many areas of Oklahoma remain impacted by high winds and flooding as the remnants of Tropical Storm Erin continues to move through the state. Some areas have received more than 7 inches of rain since midnight and additional rainfall is anticipated as the center of the tropical depression moves east. The National Weather Service has issued flash flood warnings, wind advisories and a tornado watch for areas of the state. The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) remains in contact with emergency managers in the affected areas.
Injuries and Fatalities
Two Watonga residents were injured after their home was destroyed by straight line winds or a possible tornado. The two were treated for reportedly non-life threatening injuries at the hospital in Watonga.
OG&E reports 15,833 customers without power statewide. Local outage totals include: 3,484 in South Oklahoma City; 3,252 in North Oklahoma City; 1,092 in West Oklahoma City; 2,293 in El Reno; and 1,459 in Norman.
The Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives reports 250 to 500 Cimarron Electric customers, primarily in the Watonga area, are without power. Numerous power poles are down in the area. Other electric cooperatives are providing mutual aid with electric service restoration.
The following shelters are open to assist those displaced by the flooding:
- El Reno – Sacred Heart Church in the 200 block of South Evans
- Fort Cobb – Caddo-Kiowa Technology Center on Career Tech Road
- Lawton – Cameron Baptist Church, 2621 C Avenue
- Moore – Community Center
Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) reports I-40 in El Reno is now open.
ODOT reports the following road closures due to flooding; high-water caution areas:
The following highways in the Oklahoma City metro area are reported closed:
- SH-66, between Oklahoma City and El Reno
- SH-4 (Mustang area), north and south of I-40
- SH-74, north of the Kilpatrick Turnpike to the Logan County line
The following highways in the Oklahoma City metro are reportedly under high water, but remain open:
- I-240 / I-35 area
- Northbound I-35 at I-240. Northbound lanes are under water; motorists are advised to stay on the inside lane, which is more passable.
- Eastbound I-240 near Walker
The following highways in western Oklahoma are reported closed:
The following highways in western Oklahoma are reportedly under high water, but remain open:
- In Custer County, SH-54 north of Weatherford
- In Blaine County, SH-58 north of Hydro
- In Blaine County, US-270 north of Geary (power lines reported down also)
Motorists are advised not to drive into water on roadways.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol reports in McClain County, near Washington, SH-24 at Walnut Creek is closed.
Travel is discouraged in many areas and motorists are urged to obey road closing signs and barricades. It only takes a minimal amount of moving water for cars to be swept away and there may be unseen damage to the road. 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
The following reports were received related to severe storms and flooding since midnight.
Blaine County Emergency Management reports a partial roof collapse at the Geary Community Nursing Home. The 15 nursing home residents have been evacuated to a nursing home in Hydro. Town of Geary is experiencing power outages community-wide. Geary officials also report damage to buildings from high winds, reported at 80 mph. County commissioners report many district roads are impassable due to debris and flooding. Additionally, Watonga fire officials report limited water pressure throughout the city, multiple gas leaks and vehicle rescues underway. The county jail was also damaged in Watonga. Winds blew the heat and air conditioning unit off the roof. All 40 prisoners are safe and accounted for. Officials are attempting to locate a facility without damage or water invasion for a shelter.
Comanche County Emergency Management reports rainfall has diminished however, many roads remain covered with water and some are impassable. Go to www.comanchecounty.us for road closures. Highway 281 at the Comanche, Caddo county line is impassable and several cars are stranded. Local American Red Cross officials continue to shelter six individuals who were evacuated from their homes earlier this morning at Cameron Baptist Church in Lawton.
Custer County Emergency Management reports 24 power poles down and no power to the towns of Thomas or Custer City. Thomas Nursing Home has roof damage and water leak, but elected to shelter in place as their electric service provider estimates power back within six hours. One vehicle was in a ditch due to flooding; no injury.
Fort Cobb Emergency Management (Caddo County) reports 50 to 100 homes impacted by flooding. Damage assessments underway; no one evacuated at this time. A shelter is opened at the Caddo-Kiowa Technology Center in Fort Cobb to assist those displaced.
Kiowa County Emergency Management reports one home sustained flood damage near Mountain View. Last night a large barn was destroyed about four miles east-northeast of Hobart due to a possible tornado. Also, several power poles were snapped with downed power lines and several trees uprooted four miles east-southeast of Hobart.
Moore Emergency Management reports officials are opening a shelter at the Moore Community Center for those displaced by the flooding.
Norman Emergency Management reports heavy flooding continues. One mobile home park was evacuated due to flooding. Those displaced are urged to go to the shelter at the Moore Community Center. One home was evacuated and American Red Cross is providing assistance. Many motorists stranded. Many areas cannot be accessed due to high water.
Oklahoma City Emergency Management reports fire officials are assisting Cleveland County officials with 10 to 15 mobile homes flooded at 17200 S. Sunny Lane. Additionally, officials are assisting a man who had a tree fall on his home at NE 50th and Post Road.