Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 22, 2006 -- Situation Update 2
WINTER STORM DELIVERS DAMAGE TO PANHANDLE
The State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) received the following damage reports related to the winter storm that moved through the Panhandle on Tuesday and Wednesday, leaving downed power lines and trees. EOC staff remains in contact with emergency managers in the affected areas.
A state-local preliminary damage assessment (PDA) team continues its work in Texas County, the hardest hit area. A complete assessment of disaster response, recovery costs is expected early next week. The PDA team includes officials with the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) and Texas County.
State of Emergency Issued for Texas County
On Thursday, Gov. Brad Henry issued an Executive Order declaring a State of Emergency for Texas County. The declaration provides a formal mechanism for Texas County, as well as the cities and towns within the county, to seek reimbursement for recovery costs through the state's Disaster Public Assistance Program. There are no reports of significant damage to homes or businesses. (Text of the Executive Order is available at the OEM web site, www.oem.ok.gov)
The Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives (OAEC) reports consumer outages are down to 183. The majority of the outages remain in the Guymon and Goodwell areas which are served by Tri-County Electric Cooperative. OAEC estimates that most consumers should have power restored to their homes or business by late today, with the possibility of a few scattered individual outages remaining to be repaired on Saturday morning.
Preliminary estimates from Hooker-based Tri-County Electric show between $175,000 and $250,000 in damages to the electric system. This includes amounts for replacing both primary conductor and some electric distribution poles that were damaged during the ice storm, and a tremendous number of secondary (low-voltage service drops) services that were damaged and had to be replaced. Also, scores of meter loops were damaged, as they were pulled from houses due to falling, ice-laden tree limbs. Tri-County crews have also had to cut up and remove or displace thousands of tree limbs that have fallen through power lines in the alleyways, especially in the communities of Guymon and Goodwell. The figure also includes labor for mutual aid assistance crews that came to Tri-County's aid and expenses for local electricians who have assisted with the repair of meter loops and service entrances to houses.
About 100 Panhandle Telephone customers in the Guymon area experienced service disruption however, 911 was not affected by the outage. Panhandle Telephone anticipates all or most of its services will be restored by Friday.
REPORTS FROM LOCAL JURISDICTIONS
Texas County Emergency Management reports 2 inches of rain, 1 inch of ice and up to 4 inches of snow delivered storm damage to power lines and trees in Goodwell, Guymon, Hardesty, Hooker, Optima, Texhoma and Tyrone. About 7,000 homes and businesses were without power at the height of storm. All roads are open and passable at this time.
Next situation update: As necessary.