Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Situation Update 15
12-14-07, 8:30 p.m.
ICE STORM RESPONSE/RECOVERY EFFORTS CONTINUE
Power outages down to 205,000 statewide
INJURIES AND FATALITIES
The number of Ice Storm-related fatalities remains 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.
Oklahoma Corporation Commission reports statewide 205,259 homes and businesses are without electric service.
AEP-PSO reports 85,000 customers without power, including 81,000 in the Tulsa metro area.
OG&E reports about 100,000 customers without power. Most are in the Oklahoma City metro area.
Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives reports about 15,359 rural electric customers without power, including 5,000 Verdigris Valley Electric and 4,500 Northeast Electric cooperative customers. OAEC also reports 2,525 broken or destroyed distribution poles.
Municipal Electric Systems of Oklahoma reports about 3,900 customers without power in Collinsville, Cushing, Miami, Pryor, Skiatook and Stroud. Municipal governments providing crews to assist include Denton and Garland, Texas; Siloam Springs, Bentonville, and Clarksville, Arkansas; and the Oklahoma cities of Cordell, Duncan, Edmond, Pawhuska, Ponca City, Purcell, Sallisaw, Spiro, Stillwater, Stillwell and Wagoner.
Empire District Electric Company reports 1,000 customers without power in far northeast areas of the state.
Snow is expected across the state through Saturday afternoon. Accumulations of 4 to 6 inches are possible in northwest and north central Oklahoma. Forecasts call for 1 to 3 inches elsewhere. North winds at 15 to 20 mph are likely this evening through Saturday afternoon, which may aggravate current power outage problems. Temperatures are expected to plummet to some of the coldest this season Saturday night into Sunday with temperatures in the low teens in the northwest to the upper teens in central sections and the mid-20s in the southeast.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation is monitoring highways, and in some cases treating slick spots, as winter weather continues to move into the state. Officials report that roadways are slick in spots, particularly on bridges and overpasses. With temperatures expected in the teens and twenties, motorists should also be aware of “black ice" which appears wet on the roadway, but is actually a thin layer of ice. In addition, debris falling from transport vehicles has cluttered roadways in some parts of the state and motorists are urged to remain cautious. If motorists encounter debris, they are asked to call *55 to reach the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. If motorists see debris falling during transport, they are encouraged to report license plate numbers of those with unsecured loads. In the Tulsa area, SH-97 north of Sand Springs remains narrowed to one lane as PSO crews repair fallen power lines.
For Oklahoma Road Conditions call 888-425-2385, a toll-free information line operated by the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety. 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 Turnpike Authority reports power has been restored along the Turner and Will Rogers turnpikes. Power had been out since last weekend’s ice storm, which halted sales of fuel and food services along the turnpikes. With forecasts calling for more inclement weather, travelers are encouraged to make sure they have a full tank of fuel and emergency items before traveling the turnpikes.
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, U.S. Department of Energy, OG&E, Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives, American Red Cross and the Salvation Army.
Since Sunday, 67 generators have been deployed through the State EOC to Oklahoma communities impacted by power outages. The generators, delivered by the Oklahoma National Guard and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, were used for water treatment plants, shelters, 911 centers and public safety fueling stations. In addition to 167 industrial-size generators, FEMA has provided 216,000 liters of bottled water, 4,000 cots, 12,000 blankets, 84,000 meals ready to eat (MREs) and 27,750 hygiene kits to support shelters.
STATE DAMAGE ASSESSMENT HOTLINE
Since opening Thursday, the Oklahoma Damage Assessment Hotline (866) 560-7584 has received 2,325 damage reports from Oklahomans impacted by the Ice Storm. Due to extremely high call volumes many callers experience 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.
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. THIS IS NOT A FEMA APPLICATION LINE. IT IS OPERATED BY THE OKLAHOMA DEPARTMENT OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT.
Additionally, Gov. Brad Henry said today he anticipates the state will have enough data tomorrow to ask President George Bush for a major disaster declaration encompassing a number of Oklahoma counties devastated by last weekend’s ice storm. The Governor and Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management officials said the magnitude of damages statewide has slowed the work of assessment teams conducting surveys of impacted areas. Assessment surveys have also been hampered by extremely foggy conditions and the prospect of an impending snowstorm over this weekend. If approved, the major disaster declaration would allow cities, towns and counties to receive public assistance for expenses related to response and recovery efforts. Next week, joint teams of FEMA, state and local officials will continue their assessment of infrastructure damage caused by the storm, including roads, bridges and public facilities as well as the costs associated with debris removal.
Shelters are open at the following 43 locations.
Agra – Senior Citizen Center
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
Bristow – First Baptist Church
Broken Arrow - Arrow Heights Church, 3201 S. Elm Place
Carney - Community Center, 701 S. Highway 177
Cedar Lake – Fire Department, 11150 S. Cedar Road
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
Davenport – Davenport Nazarene Church, 116 E. First
Disney – Lakemont Shores Fire Department
Disney – Delaware Fire Department
Drumright – First Baptist Church, 229 S. Ohio
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 – Community Center, 301 S. Howard (NE corner of 4th and I-35)
Newcastle – Newcastle Storm Shelter, 851 N. Car
Oilton – Freewill Baptist Church
Oklahoma City – Cox Center
Okmulgee – Twin Hills Indian Community, 8110 Hwy 52 and 16
Owasso - First Christian, 96th Street N and 122nd Ave. East
Rolling Hills – Community Center, 20 E. 200 E Ave.
Sapulpa – Sapulpa Indian Community, 1020 N. Brown
Sapulpa – First Presbyterian Church
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
Welch – Welch Civic Center, 600 S. Curtis
Welston – First Baptist Church
Yale – Yale Senior Center
The American Red Cross reports about 3,350 individuals stayed at shelters Thursday night.
HEALTH CARE SERVICES
The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) continues to monitor the status of health care facilities, health departments and shelters. OSDH is engaged with its medical system response partners (Metropolitan/Regional Medical Response System) in addressing the needs of the medical community, ensuring medical supplies, equipment and personnel are adequate to deal with this crisis, and situation reports are updated on the status of public health and medical facilities throughout the state. In addition, the OSDH Office of Communications has issued a number of press releases dealing with various storm-related safety issues.
Medical personnel have been mobilized from the Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps to support shelter operations in several communities, and public health nurses have conducted site visits to a number of these shelters. The OSDH Long Term Care Division is monitoring affected long term care centers and nursing homes. OSDH Injury Prevention is tracking storm related injuries and deaths and working with the Medical Examiners office. OSDH Emergency Medical Services Division is tracking ambulance resources throughout the state and has assisted with coordination of the relocation of nursing home residents affected by power outages. OSDH Medical Facilities Division is actively monitoring the status of medical facilities across Oklahoma. OSDH Mental Health staff members are working with the Oklahoma State Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services to address mental health related needs. In addition, the Oklahoma City/County Health Department, Tulsa Health Department and the county health departments in all affected areas have been activated and are assisting local emergency management officials by responding to the public health and medical needs of the citizens and responders within their jurisdictions.
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.