Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 5, 2008 – 9:30 p.m. – Situation Update 1
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Michelann Ooten, Public Information Officer
SEVERE WEATHER BRINGS DAMAGE, POWER OUTAGES TO OKLAHOMA
A strong storm system, accompanied by damaging winds continues to move through the state. Flash flood warnings were issued for parts of northwest Oklahoma and a tornado watch remains in effect until 3 a.m. Friday for 33 counties stretching from southwest to northeast areas of the state. Straight line winds 70 to 80 mph and sustained winds of 30 to 40 mph reported in many areas.
High winds also contributed to wildfires, including one in Gotebo that forced evacuation of the southwest town of 272. Two homes were destroyed and seven sustained minor damage. Another 50 homes have smoke damage. Barns and outbuildings were also destroyed due to the fire. Residents were allowed to return to their homes earlier this evening. Fires were also reported in Custer and Jackson counties.
Injuries and Fatalities
One firefighter sustained minor injuries at the fire in Gotebo.
Statewide, about 47,600 homes and businesses are without electric service.
- OG&E reports 15,840 customers without power, including 12,255 in the Oklahoma City metro area.
- The Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives (OAEC) reports about 4,150 power outages -- 1,500 Alfalfa Electric Cooperative customers in Cherokee, 1,250 Kiwash Electric Cooperative customers in the Butler and Foss Lake areas and 1,400 Cimarron Electric Cooperative customers primarily in the Canton area. Western Farmers Electric Cooperative, Alfalfa Electric's wholesale power supplier and transmission service provider also lost several high-voltage transmission structures north of Cherokee.
- PSO reports about 27,600 customers without power including 11,000 in Elk City, 7,000 in Weatherford and 5,300 in Clinton. Outages also reported in Chickasha, Hobart and Tipton.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) reports US-81 is closed from Pond Creek to the Kansas state line due to water over the roadway. Additionally, US-64 is closed to through traffic from Nash west to the Alfalfa County line due to downed power poles and power lines on the highway. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation reports tractor trailers on their side at mile markers 58 and 52 on I-40. Traffic is limited to one lane in each direction at these locations.
Local Damage Reports
Altus Emergency Management reports heavy power outages. Winds of 87 mph damaged buildings and downed trees and power lines. In the Blue Ridge housing addition trees and power lines are in the roadway. City officials also report roof damage to many homes.
Custer County Emergency Management reports damage in the Clinton area where three airplanes were flipped over at the airport and six barns were blown over. Near Foss Lake roofs were torn off six buildings. Extensive power outages reported in Clinton, Elk City, Weatherford, Thomas and the Foss Lake area. Winds in excess of 75 mph downed power poles in virtually every Custer County community. Additionally, a travel trailer was blown over on I-40.
Kiowa County Emergency Management reports winds in excess of 65 mph left damage throughout much of the county. Damaged structures as well as downed trees, power poles and lines reported in Lone Wolf, Mountain Park, Snyder and Hobart areas.