Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Situation Update 3
12-9-07, 5:15 p.m.
WINTER STORM CONTINUES TO IMPACT STATE
An Ice Storm Warning continues for much of Oklahoma through Monday night. Additional freezing rain is expected over night and into Monday with additional accumulations of one-quarter to one-half inch. Additional frozen precipitation is possible for parts of the state Tuesday and Wednesday. The winter weather system continues to cause hazardous road conditions and power outages.
INJURIES AND FATALITIES
Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) reports five people died in crashes on Oklahoma roads since Saturday night. Two people died in wrecks in Canadian and Oklahoma counties. Two people died in separate accidents in Beckham County. One person died in a crash in Tillman County.
Additionally, troopers worked 19 injury crashes and another 80 non-injury collisions. OHP continues to discourage travel due to hazardous road conditions.
Oklahoma Corporation Commission reports statewide about 45,800 homes and businesses are without electric service.
AEP-PSO reports about 29,000 customers without power, including 22,061 in the Tulsa metro area, 4,398 in Bartlesville and 2,876 in Vinita.
OG&E reports 4,578 without power, including 927 in Choctaw, 815 in Midwest City, 792 in Oklahoma City North, and 409 in Drumright.
Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives reports about 12,050 rural electric customers without power. The providers have called for mutual aid.
Verdigris Valley Electric Cooperative, located in Collinsville, has about 9,000 without electric service due to heavy icing conditions in Osage and Washington counties, as well as in parts of their service territory in Tulsa and Rogers counties.
Northeast Oklahoma Rural Electric Cooperative reports about 2,800 customers without power. Communities affected are primarily north of I-44, and include Adair, Chelsea, Vinita, Bluejacket, Centralia, Welch, Miami, Commerce and Quapaw. Ice accumulations between one inch and one-and-a-quarter inch are reported on power lines in the Northeast Oklahoma service area.
East Central Oklahoma Electric Cooperative reports about 250 customers are without power north and west of Bristow primarily due to limbs falling through lines. Approximately one-quarter inch of ice is on the ground in the East Central territory at this time.
The American Red Cross is operating shelters at the following locations.
Miami – Assembly of God Church, 1815 E. Steve Owens Blvd.
Vinita – Emmanuel Temple, 437551 East Highway 60
Collinsville – First Baptist Church, 1301 W. Main
Red Cross officials are also in the process of opening a shelter in the Tulsa area.
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. 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 in the Oklahoma City metro area are plowing sleet accumulations off the roadways and continue to salt and sand roads as temperatures remain below freezing. Surfaces are very slick in spots. In the Tulsa area, crews are salting and sanding and have also been clearing some fallen tree limbs due to ice accumulation on branches. In the panhandle area roads are beginning to dry but crews are still monitoring conditions as roads remain slick in spots. I-40, both east and west, remains slick and drivers are encouraged to take it slow if needing to travel. Southeastern counties report rain and remain on standby pending temperature or precipitation fluctuations.
ODOT strongly encourages drivers not to get out if at all possible. If they must travel, motorists need to stay at least 200 feet behind road clearing equipment. These crews need room to maneuver and can engage plowing or spreading equipment without notice.
Oklahoma Turnpike Authority reports trucks are out salting and sanding the state’s turnpikes which are open but slick and hazardous. There have been five minor wrecks on the turnpikes since the winter weather began last night.
Enid/Garfield County Emergency Management reports approximately three-eighths of an inch of freezing rain and sleet, making roads generally slick and hazardous. The roads that have been traveled a lot are in good shape but will refreeze soon. We are asking the public to stay inside unless it is absolutely necessary to get out. The city road crews are putting sand on the main roads and they are passable as long as people travel slowly.
Lincoln County Emergency Management reports numerous power outages, mostly from trees falling on power lines. Water service has been restored after power outages caused disruption earlier in the day. Roads are mainly just wet.
Okmulgee County Emergency Management reports some icing of elevated surfaces such as bridges, overpasses and other exposed surfaces. Roads are passable at this time, however are expected to become icy by early evening as temperatures are expected to fall to around 28 degrees.