WINTER STORM CONTINUES TO IMPACT STATE
Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Situation Update 5
12-10-07, 11:30 a.m.
Twelve fatalities reported; Power outages top 400,000
A State of Emergency has been declared for all 77 Oklahoma counties due to the winter storm. The declaration provides a formal mechanism for local governments to seek reimbursement for recovery costs through the state’s disaster public assistance program is conditions warrant. The State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) remains activated and the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) is in contact with emergency managers in the affected areas.
After coordinating with federal officials Sunday, 50 industrial-size generators and three truck loads of bottled water are expected to arrive in the state later today. The supplies will be deployed as needed to city, town and county officials in areas where power outages have occurred. Please note these generators are not for residential use.
All non-essential state employees and state offices in the Oklahoma City metro area are closed today. Counties affected are Canadian, Cleveland, Lincoln, Logan, McClain, Oklahoma and Pottawatomie. Numerous schools and businesses are closed throughout the state.
An Ice Storm Warning continues until 6 a.m. Tuesday north of a line from Mangum to Oklahoma City to Vinita. Another Ice Storm Warning will expire at 6 p.m. today for an area south of a line from Mangum to Oklahoma City to Stillwater, and north of a line from Ardmore to Tahlequah. A storm system is moving toward Oklahoma from California. This system will attempt to bring warm air into the state, allowing some areas to rise above freezing. Currently, the most likely area to warm up is south of I-44. A change over to a cold rain should occur as temperatures warm. Northwest of I-44 temperatures should remain below freezing with a continued threat of freezing rain during the day into the overnight hours.
INJURIES AND FATALITIES
The Oklahoma State Medical Examiners Office reports 12 fatalities related to the ice storm. All died in motor vehicle accidents on Oklahoma roads.
Two people died in separate wrecks in Oklahoma County.
One died in a crash in Canadian County.
Two people died in separate accidents in Beckham County.
One died in a crash in Tillman County.
Four died in an accident in Okfuskee County.
Two people died in accidents in Tulsa County (This includes a man who died today in Tulsa when a utility pole fell on his vehicle.)
Additionally, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol has worked more than 150 injury and non-injury collisions since Saturday night. OHP continues to discourage travel due to hazardous road conditions.
Oklahoma Corporation Commission reports statewide more than 405,000 homes and businesses are without electric service.
AEP-PSO reports 179,579 customers without power, including 157,332 in the Tulsa metro area, 6,407 in Vinita and 6,049 in Bartlesville.
OG&E reports 169,704 without power, including 157,451 in the Oklahoma City metro area.
Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives reports about 55,750 rural electric customers without power, including Oklahoma Electric Cooperative (Norman) 17,000 without power; Canadian Valley Electric Cooperative (Seminole) 14,500 without power; Verdigris Valley Electric Cooperative (Collinsville) 10,000 without power; and Northeast Oklahoma Electric Cooperative (Vinita) 7,550 without power.
The American Red Cross is operating shelters at the following locations.
Bixby – New Beginnings Church, 4104 E. 151st
Carney – Community Center
Chandler – First Baptist Church
Claremore – Community Center, 2301 N. Souix.
Collinsville – First Baptist Church, 1301 W. Main
Del City – Community Center, 4505 SE 15th
Miami – Assembly of God Church, 1815 E. Steve Owens Blvd.
Midwest City – Reed Center, 5800 Will Rogers; Trinity Baptist Church, 1329 NW 23rd
Sand Springs – Community Center, 420 Plaza Court
Shawnee – Expo Center, 1700 W. Independence Street
Stroud – Senior Citizens Building
Tulsa – First Baptist Church, 403 S. Cincinnati
Vinita – Emmanuel Temple, 437551 East Highway 60
Additionally, Warming Centers are open in Moore at the Community Center, 301 S. Howard Ave. (northeast corner of SE Fourth and I-35) and at the Brand Senior Center, 501 E. Main Street.
OHP continues to discourage travel across much of the state. Motorists who must travel are reminded to slow down, increase distance between theirs and the next vehicle and to wear their seatbelts. All gas stations on the Turner Turnpike are without power and unable to pump gas. 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.
Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) reports crews continue to plow and treat roadways. They have also cleared some fallen trees and tree limbs. ODOT strongly encourages drivers not to get out if at all possible. If they must travel, ODOT cautions drivers not to become too comfortable with road conditions as they continue to change and to be alert for the possibility of downed or low hanging tree limbs and power lines. Motorists also need to stay at least 200 feet behind road clearing equipment as crews need room to maneuver and can engage plowing or spreading equipment without notice.
Edmond Emergency Management reports their EOC remains activated. Biggest problems continue to be power outages and road conditions due to ice accumulation. Crews continue to work hard.
Grady County Emergency Management reports power outages and tree damage around Grady County. Officials estimate one-quarter to one-half inch ice accumulation in the area. Roads in Chickasha and south are in fair shape; roads north and west are mostly ice covered. Numerous accidents have occurred.
Kiowa County Emergency Management reports most streets and highways are slick in spots and travel is discouraged. Bridges and overpass are the most dangerous. Several accidents reported Sunday which were weather related. No known injuries or fatalities. Trees and power lines remain iced over. There is a one-fourth inch ice accumulation on trees and power lines.
Lincoln County Emergency Management reports power outages throughout the county and a few families have been displaced due to trees falling on their homes. Roads are especially bad on the north side of the county; wet elsewhere. Lincoln County Commissioners are signing a disaster declaration.
Moore Emergency Management reports electric service is out in the northwest corner of Moore, roughly west of I-35 and south of Northwest 27th Street. There are spotty outages in other sections of Moore. Warming Centers are open and sanitation routes normally run today have been postponed until Wednesday. Moore City Hall is open. Streets are slick in spots; there are also a lot of limbs down or hanging low across streets. Public Works is working to clear streets of limbs; sanding operations also continue. Moore Public Schools are closed.
Rogers County Emergency Management reports anyone needing emergency transportation to the shelter at the Community Center may call the Claremore Fire Department at (918) 341-0200
Shawnee/Pottawatomie County Emergency Management reports ice buildup on trees is causing limbs to break throughout Shawnee. The west part of town seems to be worst area. Street crews have been out all night clearing debris from roads. Fire Department has responded to numerous calls of lines arcing and sparking. Roads are wet but passable. City Hall/EOC, Water Treatment Plant, and Waste Water Treatment Plant are running on generators.