Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Situation Update 3
January 28, 2010, 5:30 p.m.
WINTER STORM CONTINUES TO IMPACT STATE
The State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) remains activated and the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) is in contact with emergency managers across the state. Agencies and organizations represented at the State EOC include the: American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Oklahoma Military Department, Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, 2-1-1 Oklahoma, Oklahoma Department of Transportation and the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture Food and Forestry.
Oklahoma remains under a State of Emergency, as declared by Gov. Brad Henry. The State of Emergency marks a first step toward seeking federal assistance, should it be necessary. Additionally, the executive order allows state agencies to make emergency purchases and acquisitions needed to expedite the delivery of resources to local jurisdictions. The declaration provides a formal mechanism for local governments to seek reimbursement for recovery costs through the state’s disaster public assistance program if conditions warrant.
All state offices in Canadian, Cleveland, Lincoln, Logan, McClain, Oklahoma and Pottawatomie counties are closed today. Numerous schools and businesses are closed throughout the state.
A Winter Storm Warning continues for much of Oklahoma, with the exception of southeast sections. In western and central Oklahoma the Winter Storm Warning has been extended until noon on Friday. In northeast and east-central sections of the state, the warning period has been extended until 9 pm Friday. In northwest Oklahoma and the panhandle, snowfall is occurring with total accumulations of 8 to12 inches expected. Strong surface winds are resulting in blowing and drifting snow with near white-out conditions.
Along the I-44 corridor freezing rain has been the primary precipitation type and this will slowly transition to sleet during the next few hours. Several reports of half-inch ice accumulation have been received in this area. East-central and northeast Oklahoma will start to see the impacts from this storm within the next few hours. Heavy freezing rain is being reported in Seminole and Lincoln counties.
Strong winds are causing significant power problems in southwest Oklahoma. Some cell towers are on emergency backup. Sporadic Internet outages are also being reported.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission reports about 67,267 homes and businesses are without electric service due to the storm, including the following.
PSO reports 25,993 customers, primarily in the Lawton area are without power.
OG&E reports 9,144 customers (including 1,924 in Purcell, 1,268 in Konawa and 1,193 in Pauls Valley) are without service.
The Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority reports 608 municipal electric customers in Olustee and Eldorado are without service. Additionally, 2,300 municipal electric customers in Marlow and 8,900 customers in Duncan are without power.
The Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives reports 20,322 customers are without power in:
Caddo Electric Cooperative, Binger -- 5,613
Cotton Electric Cooperative, Walters -- 4,882
Harmon Electric Association, Hollis -- 3,000
Southwest Rural Electric, Tipton -- 2,250
Kiwash Electric Cooperative, Cordell -- 1,200
Rural Electric Cooperative, Lindsay -- 29
Oklahoma Electric Cooperative, Norman -- 532
People’s Electric Cooperative, Ada -- 2,816
The State EOC is working to provide generators to Greer County and the Town of Eakly (Caddo County) where water systems are down due to power outages.
Industrial-size generators and truck loads of bottled water secured through the federal government will be deployed through the State EOC to cities, towns and counties as needed due to power outages. The federal generators augment the industrial size state generators already positioned around the state. The industrial size generators are for shelters, water treatment plants and hospitals.
Please note these generators are not for residential use.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) reports roads are slick and hazardous in western, southwestern, central and northeastern regions of the state. OHP is discouraging travel at this time. If you must travel, give yourself plenty of time to get to the destination and double and triple following distance between vehicles. 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.
SHELTERS AND MASS FEEDING
The following shelters and warming centers are open due to the winter storm:
Carnegie -- Carnegie Elementary School, 202 West 4th St.
Duncan -- Stephens County Fairgrounds, 1616 South 13th Street
Holdenville -- Holdenville Senior Center, 124 N. Creek
Lawton -- Cameron Baptist Church, 2621 SW C Ave.
Mangum -- Mangum Presbyterian Church, 314 N. Oklahoma
Newcastle -- Newcastle Storm Shelter, 801 N Carr
El Dorado -- El Dorado School, 116 N. Seventh
Hobart -- First Methodist Church, 201 S. Washington
McAlester – Salvation Army Office, 400 N. A Street
Woodward -- Woodward American Red Cross Chapter, 1209 Ninth Street
An open warming center is capable of turning into a shelter at any time if officials determine a need for overnight sheltering.
The Salvation Army reports their Oklahoma City shelter location is at near capacity. All additional guests will be placed on cots and mats.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) continues to monitor all shelter operations, healthcare facilities and nursing homes. Health calls to emergency medical service providers across Oklahoma have increased slightly but at this time they are manageable. OSDH encourages citizens to monitor their NOAA All-Hazards radio for updates, to ensure if their power goes out that they never use generators, grills, or other gasoline, propane, or charcoal burning devices inside the home, garage or carport or near doors, windows, or vents. Upon experiencing symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning including headaches, fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath or nausea call 9-1-1 immediately. Take precautions if venturing outside including taking a cell phone with you. If you slip-and-fall you can dial 911. County health departments across the state have personnel on call if additional services are needed.
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. Please only call 911 for emergencies.