Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 10, 2008 – 8:30 a.m. – Situation Update 2
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Michelann Ooten, Public Information Officer
SPRING STORMS BRING TORNADOES, FLOODING TO STATE
A powerful storm system is beginning to exit the state. In the wake of yesterday’s storms there will be strong winds across the state today with an isolated chance of showers and thunderstorms. Temperatures will be much cooler into the weekend with a chance of freezing temperatures across the northern half of the state Saturday morning.
Injuries and Fatalities
Injuries were reported in Muldrow following the storm that moved through the area Wednesday night.
A 62-year-old woman died when her vehicle hydroplaned on US-62 near Apache, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP). OHP also worked numerous traffic collisions, including an injury wreck on US-75 in Okmulgee County. Eastbound lanes of the Will Rogers Turnpike are closed at mile marker 260 due to an injury accident involving two semi tractor trailers. Troopers advise that roadways are flooded in some areas and slick in still more. They urge motorists to slow down and drive for the conditions.
The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) has activated the State Emergency Operations Center. OEM personnel are en route to assist in the hardest hit areas of the state, including Muldrow and Hannah. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT), Oklahoma Corporation Commission and OHP are also assisting the impacted communities.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission reports storm damage assessments continue. Construction and service crews are being diverted to areas that received significant storm damage. Eastern Oklahoma has received some damage to transmission lines and substations, leaving about 15,500 homes and businesses across the state without electric service. OG&E reports 11,740 customers without power, including 1,477 in Marietta, 1,321 in Tishomingo, 1,223 in Muldrow, and 902 in Warner. PSO reports 4,100 without power, which includes 1,800 in the Tulsa area and 2,100 in the McAlester area.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation reports highways are closed due to downed power lines across roadways and high water. Motorists are advised against driving into water on roadways and urged to obey all road closing signs and barricades. It only takes a minimal amount of moving water for cars to be swept away and there may be unseen damage to the road. Motorists who encounter flooded roads should turn around and find an alternate route.
Currently, the following roads are reported closed:
Canadian County -- SH-4 is closed between Wagner Rd. and SH-66, north of Yukon and SH-66 at Alfadale Rd. in El Reno
Cherokee County -- SH-80 between Hulbert and Wildwood
LeFlore County -- US-270 between Wister and Heavener
McCurtain County -- US-259A between Broken Bow Lake Spillway and Beavers Bend Park
Muskogee County -- SH-104 east of Haskell
Okfuskee County -- SH 48 at Wewoka Creek near Bearden
Oklahoma County -- SH-74 is closed between Waterloo Road and Covell Road
Okmulgee County -- US-75A Beggs, north out of town, SH-16 railroad underpass, US-62 at 310 Rd., east of Morris
Wagoner County -- SH-72 from 181st to 191st, SH-104 from Haskell to Junction of SH-51B; SH-16 at Gray Oak Rd., east of Okay, and SH-51 from 121st to 131st in Coweta
For information regarding Oklahoma road conditions, call 888-425-2385. Road condition information for Texas is available at 800-452-9292 and for Arkansas call 800-245-1672.
Numerous schools in the area from Broken Arrow to Fort Smith are closed due to flooding.
Local Damage Reports
Adair County Emergency Management reports downed trees and other debris blocking county roads. Hardest hit area is south of Stilwell.
Cherokee County Emergency Management reports 80-foot tree down on Indian Road in Tahlequah.
Comanche County Emergency Management reports numerous road remain closed due to high water. Two water rescues were made during the night; one in Lawton and the other near Elgin. In both cases, families were rescued safely and have sought shelter.
Hughes County Emergency Management reports a roof was blown off a house in Holdenville and a trailer was blown over by high winds in Yeager. Golf ball size hail reported along with high winds, sustained at 40 mph with gusts to 60 mph.
Love County Emergency Management reports Marietta was without power during the night. Power was returned to the community of 2,445 around 6 a.m.
Mayes County Emergency Management reports several bridges are washed out and homes and businesses have flooded in some areas. Numerous roads and highways are closed and turnpike traffic is shut down.
McIntosh County Emergency Management reports damage in Hanna where a large amount of debris and downed power lines were left in the wake of a possible tornado. One mobile home sustained damage.
Pottawatomie County/Shawnee Emergency Management reports damage three miles west of Asher. There, three homes sustained major damage, two outbuildings have major damage and utility poles were uprooted.
Sequoyah County Emergency Management reports widespread damage in Muldrow. Officials estimate more than 200 homes and businesses sustained damage in the community of 3,000 and the surrounding area.