Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 6, 2008 – 5 a.m. – Situation Update 2
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Michelann Ooten, Public Information Officer
SEVERE WEATHER BRINGS DAMAGE, POWER OUTAGES TO OKLAHOMA
A strong storm system, accompanied by damaging winds, moved through the state Thursday. Straight line winds 70 to 80 mph and sustained winds of 30 to 40 mph were reported in many areas. A flood warning remains in effect for Muskogee County where the Arkansas River is above flood stage.
High winds also contributed to wildfires, including one in Gotebo that forced evacuation of the southwest town of 272. Two homes were destroyed and seven sustained minor damage. Another 50 homes have smoke damage. Barns and outbuildings were also destroyed due to the fire. Residents have returned to their homes. Fires were also reported in Custer and Jackson counties.
Injuries and Fatalities
One firefighter sustained minor injuries at the fire in Gotebo.
Statewide, about 47,400 homes and businesses are without electric service.
- OG&E reports 11,313 customers without power, including 9,468 in the Oklahoma City metro area.
- The Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives (OAEC) reports about 4,150 power outages -- 1,500 Alfalfa Electric Cooperative customers in Cherokee, 1,250 Kiwash Electric Cooperative customers in the Butler and Foss Lake areas and 1,400 Cimarron Electric Cooperative customers primarily in the Canton area. Western Farmers Electric Cooperative, Alfalfa Electric's wholesale power supplier and transmission service provider also lost several high-voltage transmission structures north of Cherokee.
- PSO reports about 31,935 customers without power including 17,000 in the Tulsa area, 8,700 in Elk City and 2,000 in the Chouteau area. Outages also reported in Hobart, Clinton and Tipton.
Last night, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) reported US-81 was closed from Pond Creek to the Kansas state line due to water over the roadway. Additionally, US-64 was closed to through traffic from Nash west to the Alfalfa County line due to downed power poles and power lines on the highway. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation reported tractor trailers on their side at mile markers 58 and 52 on I-40.
State, Federal Assistance
Last night Oklahoma secured a Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) related to the Gotebo fire. The FMAG, approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), provides assistance to fire departments, law enforcement and other agencies that responded to the Gotebo fire.
Local Damage Reports
Altus Emergency Management reports heaviest damage is south of US-62 in Eldorado, Elmer, and the south side of Altus and the airbase. Altus remains without power. Damage assessments are underway. Winds of 87 mph damaged buildings and downed trees and power lines. In the Blue Ridge housing addition trees and power lines are in the roadway. City officials also report roof damage to many homes.
Cordell Emergency Management reports one house fire due to downed power lines. About half of the town is without power. Officials recorded 84 mph winds.
Elk City Emergency Management reports numerous power lines and poles down.Winds in excess of 100 mph damaged large trees, signs, barns and out buildings. Additionally, trailers were moved off their foundation and travel trailers were turned over.
Moore Emergency Management reports when the storms moved through area, strong wind gusts and horizontal rain was observed. Power outages reported throughout the afternoon and evening as a result of the strong winds.
Beckham County Emergency Management reports trees downed. Power outages reported in Sayre, Carter and Eric.
Comanche County Emergency Management reports hail and straight line winds in excess of 70 mph. Report of possible tornado near SH-58 and SH-49. Earlier today, high winds knocked down several power lines or caused them to arc, starting several grass fires. Officials continue to receive reports of downed power lines due to high winds. Lightning strikes caused fire in two homes. Nearly 3,000 residents are without power in Cache. There are also reports of power outages and street flooding in western and northern Lawton. Providing mutual aid to Altus.
Custer County Emergency Management reports damage in the Clinton area where three airplanes were flipped over at the airport and six barns were blown over. Near Foss Lake roofs were torn off six buildings. Extensive power outages reported in Clinton, Elk City, Weatherford, Thomas and the Foss Lake area. Winds in excess of 75 mph downed power poles in virtually every Custer County community. Additionally, a travel trailer was blown over on I-40.
Garfield County/Enid Emergency Management reports 80-plus mph winds and torrential rainfall affected northwest portions of the county. Many power lines were downed. Highway 132 north from Carrier to Hillsdale was closed due to high water over the road. Stabe road, which runs north and south through Lahoma, was closed one mile north of Lahoma due to high water. Turkey creek was out of its banks and the full effect from the rainfall may not be felt until the early a.m. hours. In the Hillsdale area, many power poles were downed and 100 year old trees were toppled due to the high winds. Several barns were damaged in the area. An assessment will be done today to determine the full extent of the damage. Last night the town of Hunter, in northeast Garfield County, was without power and Keowee road from highway 81 to highway 132 was also closed due to high water over the road in several places.
Greer County Emergency Management reports high winds brought down power lines and poles down. Minor tree damage reported in Mangum and damage to outbuildings reported near Reed. Power is out in Willow. Also providing mutual aid at the Altus Emergency Operations Center.
Harmon County Emergency Management reports minor wind damage.
Kiowa County Emergency Management reports winds in excess of 65 mph left damage throughout much of the county. In Lone Wolf a barn was destroyed and the post office, tag agency and several homes sustained roof damage. Tree limbs downed and a metal carport was blown into electric lines. In Snyder and Mountain Park trees and tree limbs were downed along with some power poles.
Pontotoc County Emergency Management reports downed power lines and trees, especially in the Roff and Ada areas. Power outages reported in Ada.
Washita County Emergency Management reports tornado or straight line winds, possibly 100 to 115 mph, caused damage to grain elevator, lumber yard, areas of main street and roof of one house. Numerous power lines and poles are down between Sentinel and Rocky. Power outages reported in Sentinel.