Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Situation Update 13
12-13-07, 9 p.m.
ICE STORM RESPONSE/RECOVERY EFFORTS CONTINUE
Twenty-three fatalities reported; Power outages down to 331,000;
1,200-plus damage reports received on first day of state hotline
INJURIES AND FATALITIES
The number of Ice Storm-related fatalities is 23, according to the Oklahoma State Medical Examiner’s Office: 13 died in motor vehicle accidents including one who died when a utility pole fell on his vehicle in Tulsa; 8 died in house fires, including one in Broken Arrow this morning and one in Tulsa last night; and 2 died of carbon monoxide poisoning.
A Northeast Oklahoma Electric Cooperative lineman remains hospitalized after being injured Tuesday.
Hospitals continue to see patients with symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning. Oklahoma City hospitals report 45 cases of carbon monoxide poisoning; Tulsa hospitals report 66 cases, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health.
Oklahoma Corporation Commission reports statewide 331,067 homes and businesses are without electric service.
AEP-PSO reports 150,382 customers without power, including 136,513 in the Tulsa metro area, 4,399 in Vinita and 2,654 in Bartlesville.
OG&E reports 156,432 customers without power, including 142,795 in the Oklahoma City metro area, 5,452 in Sapulpa and 2,899 in Bristow.
Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives reports about 24,253 rural electric customers without power, including 6,000 Verdigris Valley Electric and 3,000 Oklahoma Electric cooperative customers. OAEC also reports 2,168 broken or destroyed distribution poles.
A Winter Storm Watch is in effect north of a line from Hollis to Lawton to Tulsa to Oaks. Snow is expected in northwest Oklahoma by Friday afternoon with light freezing rain possible in central Oklahoma. By evening snow is expected across the watch area. Total snow accumulations should range from one to three inches in central and northeast Oklahoma to four to six inches in northwest and north-central sections. All winter precipitation should move east of Oklahoma by Saturday evening. Winds will be out of the north at 10 to 20 mph Friday and Saturday, and this may impact recovery efforts. Additionally, temperatures Saturday night are expected to reach into the upper teens and low 20s across the state.
A federal emergency declaration remains in place for all 77 Oklahoma counties authorizing federal resources to be used in the Ice Storm response. All 77 counties also remain under a State of Emergency and the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) remains activated. In addition to the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM), agencies and organizations represented at the EOC include the Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma Corporation Commission, Oklahoma Department of Transportation, Oklahoma Department of Public Safety, Oklahoma Military Department, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, OG&E, Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives, American Red Cross and the Salvation Army.
With inclement weather forecasted for Friday and Saturday, officials worked to deliver additional generators to Oklahoma cities and towns today. Generators that were deployed earlier in the week to locations that now have electric service remain as pre-positioned resources in case power outages return. Additionally, shelter locations and supplies remain on standby in some communities.
STATE DAMAGE ASSESSMENT HOTLINE
In its first day of operation, the Oklahoma Damage Assessment Hotline (866) 560-7584 received 1,225 damage reports from Oklahomans impacted by the Ice Storm. Due to extremely high call volumes many callers experienced a busy signal. Oklahomans are reminded there is plenty of time to report their damage. The hotline is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week and will remain open for at least the next 10 days. Residents and business owners who have uninsured Ice Storm damages are urged to call the toll-free number.
Approximately 80 percent of today’s calls were from Oklahoma County residents; 14 percent were from the Tulsa area; and 6 percent were from other city/county areas along the I-44 corridor. Most callers reported downed trees and power lines and many need assistance with debris removal. Most also reported food losses, many of which spent their resources stock-piling for the Ice Storm and have subsequently lost it because of the power outages.
The hotline is needed to help identify and document the need for federal Individual Assistance. Callers are asked to provide their name, address of the damaged property and the type of damage their property sustained. They are also asked if they sustained financial loss because their business or place of employment was closed due to the storm.
The hotline is needed to gather damage information that, in turn, will strengthen the state’s application for federal disaster assistance for individuals and business owners. The damage reports will identify where damage assessment teams need to check in an effort to build the case that many Oklahomans need disaster assistance.
Additionally, joint teams of FEMA, state and local officials continue their assessment of infrastructure damage in the areas hardest hit by the Ice Storm. The preliminary damage assessments are needed to support a request for federal Public Assistance for cities, towns and counties. The teams are looking at roads, bridges and public facilities damaged by the storm, as well as the costs associated with debris removal.
PRICE GOUGING STATUTE 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.
FOOD STAMP CLIENTS MAY GET HELP WITH FOOD
Oklahoma families who received food stamp benefits in December should contact their local Oklahoma Department of Human Services Center to request replacement of their food stamp benefits for food loss during the recent ice storm.
SHELTERS AND MASS FEEDING
Shelters are open at the following 41 locations.
Anadarko - Grace Church, 301 W. Kansas
Bartlesville - First Baptist Church, 405 S. Cherokee
Beggs – First Baptist Church, 110 W. Fifth
Bixby - New Beginnings Church, 4104 E. 151st
Bristow – Bristow Indian Community Center, 710 S. Main
Broken Arrow - Arrow Heights Church, 3201 S. Elm Place
Carney - Community Center, 701 S. Highway 177
Chandler - First Baptist Church, 912 W. First
Claremore - First United Methodist Church, 1615 N. Highway 88
Collinsville - First Baptist Church, 1301 W. Main
Commerce - Southeast Baptist Church, 206 Amarillo Drive
Coweta – First Assembly of God, 29707 E. SH 51
Cushing – Cushing Jr. High School
Jennings – First Baptist Church, 602 N. Main
Ketchum - Methodist Church, 206 Amarillo Drive
Mannford - Community Activity Center, 100 Common Ave.
Miami - Assembly of God, 1815 E. Steve Owens Blvd.
Moore - Brand Senior Center, 501 E. Main
Norman - North Haven Church, 4600 NW. 36
Newcastle – Newcastle Storm Shelter, 851 N. Car
Oklahoma City – Cox Center
Okmulgee – Twin Hills Indian Community, 8110 Hwy 52 and 16
Owasso - First Christian, 96th Street N and 122nd Ave. East
Paden – Freewill Baptist Church
Perkins – Methodist Church
Pitcher - 100 Deville Creek
Pryor - Community Center, 6 N. Adair
Rolling Hills – Community Center, 20 E. 200 E Ave.
Sapulpa – First Church of God, 1011 E. Austain
Sapulpa – Sapulpa Indian Community, 1020 N. Brown
Shawnee - Expo Center, 1700 W. Independence
Sperry - First Baptist Church, 115 N. Cincinnati
Tryon – First Baptist Church
Tulsa - First Baptist Church, 403 S. Cincinnati
Tulsa - Asbury United Methodist Church, 6767 S. Mingo
Tulsa - Lutheran Church of Good Sheppard, 8730 E. Skelly Drive
Tulsa - Tulsa Indian Community, 8611 S. Union
Vera - Fire Department
Vinita – Fourth Street Mission Church, 439 N. Fourth
Welch – Welch Civic Center, 600 S. Curtis
Yale – Yale Senior Center
The American Red Cross reports about 3,500 individuals stayed at shelters Wednesday night.
Oklahoma 211 continues to receive calls from Oklahomans impacted by the Ice Storm. 211 is for anyone seeking non-emergency disaster or health and human service information. Services are available 24 hours a day by dialing 2-1-1 from your home or cellular telephone 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
Due to high call volumes, callers may receive a busy signal when calling 2-1-1. Call specialists are available 24/7, so please continue to call 2-1-1 for disaster related information.