Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Situation Update 6 (Previous Situation Update was #5. It was erroneously mislabeled. We regret the error.)
January 29, 2010, 11:30 a.m.
WINTER STORM CONTINUES TO IMPACT STATE
The State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) remains activated and the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) is in contact with emergency managers across the state. 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, Oklahoma Department of Transportation and the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture Food and Forestry.
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 if conditions warrant.
All state offices in Canadian, Cleveland, Lincoln, Logan, McClain, Oklahoma and Pottawatomie counties along with numerous schools and businesses remain closed today.
INJURIES AND FATALITIES
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol reports troopers have worked 86 storm related crashes, including 27 involving injury. The Oklahoma State Department of Health reports 188 injuries due to slips and falls and 28 injuries due to motor vehicle accidents.
A Winter Storm Warning for the Oklahoma panhandle has expired and precipitation has cleared that area. A Winter Storm Warning continues for much of Oklahoma, except Marshall, Atoka, Bryan, Love, Choctaw, and McCurtain counties. The warning will expire for all of western and central Oklahoma at noon. The warning for east-central and northeast Oklahoma has been extended until midnight. Winter Weather Advisory has been posted for central and south-central Oklahoma and continues for Marshall, Atoka, Love, Marshall, and Bryant counties until 6 pm.
Wind speeds are in the 10 to 15 mph range across the state and are expected to remain in this area as the upper system passes through later today. Winds will become light and variable tonight into Saturday. While this will assist in recovery efforts, it will also allow temperatures to plunge Saturday night into the single digits and teens. Winter Storm Warnings are currently posted from western Oklahoma eastward to the east coast.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission reports 179,134 homes and businesses are without electric service due to the storm, which includes the following.
PSO reports 69,716 customers are without power in:
Elk City 210
The Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority reports 26,606 customers without power in:
The Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives reports 62,341 customers without power in:
Caddo Electric, Binger: 9,528
Cotton Electric, Walters: 14,101
Harmon Electric, Hollis: 3,300
Southwest Rural Electric, Tipton: 1,500
Kiwash Electric, Cordell: 2,000
Rural Electric, Lindsay: 7,500
Oklahoma Electric, Norman: 3,292
People’s Electric, Ada: 6,505
Canadian Valley Electric, Seminole: 11,458
Ozarks Electric, Stilwell/Fayetteville: 163
Northfork Electric, Sayre: 200
Cimarron Electric, Kingfisher: 50
East Central OK Electric, Okmulgee: 1,000
Lake Region Electric, Hulbert: 469
Verdigris Valley Electric, Collinsville: 754
Northeast OK Electric, Vinita: 429
Central Rural Electric, Stillwater: 92
Cookson Hills Electric, Stigler/Sallisaw: 0
Kiamichi Electric, Wilburton: 0
OG&E reports 20,471 customers (including 1,987 in Holdenville, 1,915 in Norman and 1,881 in Ada) are without service.
Additionally, today, OG&E will open customer walk-up centers in Ada, Seminole and Pauls Valley, giving customers affected by the ice storm a place to report their power outage and learn about the power restoration process directly from employees of OG&E.
Once the walk-up centers are established, today around noon, they will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. for as long as they needed.
Ada: Apple Market, 220 E. 13th Street
Seminole: Homeland Store, 1701 N. Milt Phillips Ave.
Pauls Valley: Homeland Store, 505 S. Chickasaw Avenue
OG&E communities south and east of the Oklahoma City metro area were hardest-hit by the ice storm, causing outages for as many as 25,000 customers overnight Thursday into Friday. Power lines and tree limbs are heavily laden with ice over a wide area, including metro OKC, and OG&E is operating under its emergency storm plan with all of its resources at work and assistance from out-of-state crews.
The State EOC is working to provide generators due to power outages in Marlow and in Jefferson and Grady counties where water systems are down and in Hobart for a shelter. Already generators have been deployed through the EOC and delivered by the Oklahoma National Guard to Asher (Pottawatomie County) and Apache (Caddo County) for shelter operations, and Stephens and Greer counties for water systems that are down.
Industrial-size generators and truck loads of bottled water secured through the federal government will be deployed through the State EOC to cities, towns and counties as needed due to power outages. The federal generators augment the industrial size state generators already positioned around the state. The industrial size generators are for shelters, water treatment plants and hospitals.
Please note these generators are not for residential use.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) reports the HE Bailey Turnpike remains closed from mile markers 83 to 63 (Highway 62 to Elgin exits) due to downed power lines. Additionally, Highway 54 is closed southbound out of Guymon and I-40 is closed at the Texas state line. Roads remain slick and hazardous in western, southwestern, central and northeastern regions of the state. OHP continues to discourage travel.
Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) crews continue to work around the clock to clear roadways and drivers are urged to stay at least 200 feet behind road-clearing equipment. Additionally, motorists are asked to:
-- Be aware that conditions are continually changing; drive cautiously and for the conditions on the roadway.
-- Check road conditions before getting out on the roads.
-- Allow extra space between vehicles, so there is adequate distance for braking in icy conditions.
-- Be aware of "black ice," which looks wet on the roadway, but is actually a thin layer of ice.
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; Colorado 303-639-1111; New Mexico 800-432-4269; and Missouri, 800-222-6400.
SHELTERS AND MASS FEEDING
Thursday night 377 people stayed at the shelters and 2,000 made use of the feeding and warming centers opened due to the winter storm. The following shelters and warming centers remain open:
Chickasha-Grady County Fairgrounds, 500 East Choctaw
Altus – Altus Community Center, 401 Falcon Rd
Anadarko -- First Baptist Church 700 Petree
Asher -- First Baptist Church, 109 E. Main St
Canton -- Canton Town Hall
Carnegie -- Carnegie Elementary School, 202 West 4th St.
Concho -- Concho Community Hall, 200 Wolf Robe Circle
Duncan - Stephens County Fairgrounds, 2002 S 13th Street
Elmore City – First Baptist Church, 107 S Texas Ave.
Hobart - First Methodist Church, 201 S. Washington
Holdenville - Senior Center, 124 N. Creek
Hollis -- Hollis Civic Center, 208 W. Jones
Lawton -- Cameron Baptist Church, 2621 SW C Ave.
Lindsay -- Calvary Baptist Church, 5th and Chickasaw
Mangum - Church of New Beginnings, 408 North Tittle Avenue
Newcastle -- Newcastle Storm Shelter, 851 N Carr
Paoli – Paoli Senior Citizens Center
Pauls Valley – Garvin County Fair Barn, 1401 N Willow
Purcell -- Multi-Purpose Center, 1400 Chandler Rd
Seiling -- Community Building
Watonga – Watonga Cheyenne-Arapaho Community Center
El Dorado -- El Dorado Community Center, 514 W. Main
El Dorado -- El Dorado School, 116 N. 7th
Hobart -- First United Methodist, 201 S. Washington
McAlester – Salvation Army Office, 400 N. A Street
Woodward -- Woodward American Red Cross Chapter, 1209 Ninth Street
Wynnewood - First Baptist Church
An open warming center is capable of turning into a shelter at any time if officials determine a need for overnight sheltering.
The Salvation Army reports their Oklahoma City shelter location is at near capacity. All additional guests will be placed on cots and mats.
The American Red Cross remains ready to open more shelters as needed and currently has additional capacity in the shelters that are open. Additional shelters will be opened as necessary.
The Oklahoma Department of Human Services is supplying some shelters with USDA food commodities.
Additionally, Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief is supporting the shelters with 20 feeding sites. Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief also has chainsaw teams on standby to assist with removing downed tree branches in the affected areas.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) is monitoring 10 hospitals in the southwest part of the state that are on back-up generator. Several nursing homes are without power and the welfare of the residents is being monitored by county health department officials. Public health nurses are monitoring shelter operations for health and welfare checks. Public health sanitarians are monitoring all shelter and feeding operations ensuring public health guidelines are in compliance. OSDH staff continue to monitor the at-risk population and are working at the county and state level to ensure the health and safety of all Oklahomans.
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.