Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Situation Update 2
January 28, 2010, 9:30 a.m.
WINTER STORM IMPACTING STATE
State Emergency Operations Center Activated
Due to the winter storm, the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is activated and the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) is in contact with emergency managers in the affected areas. Agencies and organizations represented at the State EOC include the: American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Oklahoma Military Department, Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, 2-1-1 Oklahoma and Oklahoma Department of Transportation.
Oklahoma remains under a State of Emergency, as declared by Gov. Brad Henry. The State of Emergency marks a first step toward seeking federal assistance, should it be necessary. Additionally, the executive order allows state agencies to make emergency purchases and acquisitions needed to expedite the delivery of resources to local jurisdictions. The declaration provides a formal mechanism for local governments to seek reimbursement for recovery costs through the state’s disaster public assistance program as conditions warrant.
All state offices in Canadian, Cleveland, Lincoln, Logan, McClain, Oklahoma and Pottawatomie counties are closed today. Numerous schools and businesses are closed throughout the state.
A Winter Storm Warning, as posted by the National Weather Service, continues for much of Oklahoma, north of a line from Lawton to Eufaula to Muldrow. Freezing rain is reported in Oklahoma City with accumulations already starting on exposed objects. Ice accumulations are also being reported in western and other areas of central Oklahoma.
In northwest Oklahoma and the panhandle snowfall of 8 to 12 inches accumulation is likely. Immediately south of that area primarily sleet, later turning to snow is expected. The I-44 corridor is now facing an ice storm with accumulations of at least .25 inches and likely upwards of one inch. This area will change to sleet later today and end with snow late tonight.
Winds are out of the northeast at 15 to 25 mph across the state and will continue for the next few hours.
After coordinating with federal officials, industrial-size generators and two truck loads of bottled water arrived in the state earlier today. The federal generators will augment the industrial size generators OEM already had positioned around the state. The resources will be deployed as needed to city, town and county officials in the event of power outages. The industrial size generators are for shelters, water treatment plants and hospitals. Please note these generators are not for residential use.
OEM continues to receive updates from the National Weather Service and stands ready to assist the American Red Cross, Salvation Army and other disaster relief organizations in opening shelters and mass feeding sites if necessary.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) reports roads are slick and hazardous on I-40 west of Oklahoma City. Roadways are slick in spots in western and southwestern areas of the state. OHP reminds motorists to drive for the conditions by slowing down and increasing following distance between vehicles. Motorists should anticipate delays as roadways become slick and hazardous in additional areas of the state. For information regarding Oklahoma road conditions, call 888-425-2385. For road conditions in neighboring states call: Texas, 800-452-9292; Kansas, 866-511-5368; Arkansas, 800-245-1672; and Missouri, 800-222-6400.
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.