Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 16, 2011 – 8 p.m. – Situation Update 3
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Michelann Ooten, Public
RECOVERY CONTINUES IN AREAS IMPACTED BY SEVERE WEATHER
Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) personnel remain in the field, assisting local jurisdictions in areas affected by Thursday’s tornado outbreak.
Temperatures will warm the next few days as southerly winds return to the state. Moisture will be slow to return on Sunday, creating fire conditions yet again for western sections of the state. Fire weather concerns will continue during much of the work week as drought conditions combine with dry air and strong winds. Thunderstorms are possible in eastern Oklahoma on Tuesday.
INJURIES AND FATALITIES
2 fatalities were attributed to the Tushka tornado, according to the Oklahoma State Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
43 were injured during the Tushka tornado, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health.
STATE OF EMERGENCY
A State of Emergency remains in effect for 26 Oklahoma counties due to the severe weather of April 14. Governor Mary Fallin declared the State of Emergency on Friday for the following 26 counties: Atoka, Carter, Coal, Creek, Custer, Delaware, Harper, Johnston, Latimer, LeFlore, Lincoln, Love, Marshall, Murray, Okfuskee, Okmulgee, Osage, Pittsburg, Pontotoc, Pushmataha, Rogers, Seminole, Tulsa, Wagoner, Washington, Woodward. The declaration provides a formal mechanism for local governments to seek reimbursement for recovery costs through the state’s disaster public assistance program, should conditions warrant. The executive order is also the first step toward seeking federal aid should it be necessary.
Today, joint federal-state damage assessment teams from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and OEM began conducting preliminary damage assessments. The damage assessments will continue on Sunday. The teams are looking to identify uninsured and underinsured damages and other unmet financial needs associated with the tornado.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission reports 303 PSO customers in the Atoka area are without electric service due to the tornado.
SHELTERS AND MASS CARE
The American Red Cross shelter at 123 N. Delaware in Atoka will close at 9 a.m. Sunday due to lack of need. Red Cross also continues delivering meals to residents affected by the tornado.
Red Cross is beginning mobile distribution of clean-up items to residents affected by the storm. Their emergency vehicles will drive through hard hit neighborhoods offering the supplies. Items provided: water, shovels and rakes, trash cans and trash bags, gloves, goggles, clean-up kits, snacks, tarps, water coolers, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, flashlights and brooms.
The Salvation Army continues to provide water, Gatorade, and coffee at the scene as well as cases of water provided to those affected by the tornado along with first responders. More than 700 meals have been provided with many snacks and breakfast items served as well. The Salvation Army is working closely with other Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) as well as emergency management officials at the state and local levels.
Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief is cooking meals. Their chainsaw crews are assisting with debris removal.
The Choctaw Nation assisted by grilling hamburgers and hotdogs for the community.
The United Methodists have provided a large donation of hammers and tack stripping for use in applying tarps to roofs damaged by the storm. These supplies, along with additional tarps, are available at the Tushka Fire Department.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health has provided more than 250 tetanus shots since the tornado hit Thursday night.
Veterinarians from the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture are in Tushka to provide shelter and care for stray animals that have been found after the storm. They are attempting to match the animals with their owners. Anyone who is missing their pet or who has located a stray pet is asked to report that information at Tushka City Hall. Additionally, the Department of Agriculture, in coordination with Bryan County-Durant Emergency Management, is prepared to provide shelter for large animals such as horses or goats at the Durant Stock Yards, if necessary.
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.
Next Situation Update -- As necessary