Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Situation Update 26
12-20-07, 1 p.m.
ICE STORM RESPONSE/RECOVERY EFFORTS CONTINUE
Fatalities increase to 29; Power outages down to 9,400 statewide
INJURIES AND FATALITIES
Today officials with the Oklahoma State Medical Examiner’s Office attributed two more fatalities to the Ice Storm. A Tulsa woman died Monday from injuries sustained in a house fire Dec. 12 and a Skiatook woman died Tuesday from hypothermia. The total number of Ice Storm-related fatalities is now 29:
16 died in motor vehicle accidents
9 died in house fires
2 died of carbon monoxide poisoning
2 died of hypothermia
A Northeast Oklahoma Electric Cooperative lineman injured last week remains in a Tulsa hospital.
Oklahoma Corporation Commission reports statewide about 9,400 homes and businesses are without electric service.
AEP-PSO reports about 1,000 customers whose structures can safely receive power are without service and all are in the Tulsa metro area. Another 2,000 to 3,000 homes and businesses are without power and require repairs to their meter box and, or weather head before power can be restored.
OG&E reports 5,722 customers are without power, including 5,391 in the Oklahoma City metro area and 257 in Sapulpa. Customers who are still without service most likely have property damage requiring repair by an electrician before they can be reconnected to the OG&E system.
Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives reports less than 2,150 rural electric customers without power including 2,000 Verdigris Valley Electric Cooperative customers. OAEC also reports 3,985 poles destroyed by the ice storm.
Municipal Electric Systems of Oklahoma reports about 550 customers without power in Cushing, Miami and Skiatook.
Warm and dry conditions will prevail across Oklahoma through Friday afternoon. By late Friday a strong storm system will move east into Oklahoma. Rain is expected Friday night with a change to snow expected early Saturday morning, first in northern Oklahoma and spreading south into central sections. Snowfall accumulations of 1 to 3 inches are expected across northern Oklahoma with up to an inch for central Oklahoma. Precipitation will end by late Saturday afternoon. Strong northerly winds are expected on Saturday, resulting in more seasonable temperatures than experience the past few days. Wind chill values will be in the teens to low 20s during the day Saturday.
A federal major disaster declaration delivering public assistance related to last week’s ice storm remains in effect for seven Oklahoma counties. The declaration means assistance is available to cities, towns and counties for expenses related to infrastructure damage including roads, bridges and public facilities, as well as the cost of debris removal. Counties now covered are Cleveland, Lincoln, Mayes, Oklahoma, Pottawatomie, Tulsa and Wagoner. As additional damage assessments are completed, by the end of the week, more counties will be requested to receive public assistance.
The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) continues to build the state’s case for an anticipated request to the President for Individual Assistance. Residents and business owners who have uninsured ice storm damages are urged to go online at www.oem.ok.gov and click on the Oklahoma Ice Storm Damage Assessment Online Form link. Complete the form and a report will be submitted. Damage reports can also be submitted via the toll-free Oklahoma Damage Assessment Hotline (866) 560-7584 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. daily. Since opening last week, the hotline has taken more than 7,000 damage reports. This is not a FEMA application line.
HOTLINES FOR METER BOX REPAIRS IN OKLAHOMA CITY AND TULSA
Officials in Tulsa and Oklahoma City are operating toll-free numbers for homeowners to call if they need repairs to electric meter boxes and weather-heads damaged by the ice storm. In Oklahoma City the number is (800) 627-3464. In Tulsa the number is (866) 789-8898. In other communities, residents may contact their electric provider or city, town officials to find out whether their municipality is participating in the program.
All shelters are closed at this time. Wednesday night about 30 individuals stayed in shelters statewide.
PRICE GOUGING STATUTE REMAINS IN EFFECT
Oklahoma’s price gouging statute is in effect in all of Oklahoma’s 77 counties due to the State of Emergency. The price gouging statute prohibits an increase of more than 10 percent in the price of most goods and services when a State of Emergency has been declared. Anyone who suspects price gouging is taking place, is urged to contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit at (405) 521-2029. Investigators will look into all price gouging reports received.
Oklahoma 211 continues to receive calls from Oklahomans impacted by the Ice Storm. 211, operated 24 hours a day, 7 days a week is available for anyone seeking non-emergency disaster or health and human service information.
Services are available by dialing 2-1-1 in the following areas.
Tulsa Area/Green Country, dial 2-1-1 or 918-836-4357
OKC Metro/Central OK, dial 2-1-1 or 405-286-4057
Southeastern OK, dial 2-1-1 or 580-332-0558
Northeast OK, dial 2-1-1 or 918-336-2255
Southwest OK, dial 2-1-1 or 580-355-7575
In the last week, 2-1-1s across the state have taken more than 23,000 calls – more than four times the monthly call volume! Emergency shelter, food, mental health assistance, rumor control, disaster program information, transportation, debris removal, and holiday assistance program have been the most common needs requested. Calls are now shifting, however, to long term recovery, case management, and basic human service needs.