Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
Hurricane Ike -- Situation Update 2
September 12, 2008 – 11:30 a.m.
OKLAHOMA STANDING BY TO ASSIST THOSE IMPACTED BY HURRICANE IKE
State and local officials remain on standby to assist those impacted by Hurricane Ike. The storm, now a category 2 hurricane, is expected to make landfall early Saturday morning near Freeport, Texas. Hurricane Ike is expected to bring heavy rainfall to Oklahoma this weekend before turning to the east.
Additionally, a storm system from the northwest has dumped heavy rain in areas of northwest Oklahoma.
Some self-evacuees have arrived in Oklahoma. More are expected later today. Evacuees are directed to contact 211 if they need information regarding available assistance. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) has posted signs with the 211 message on key travel routes.
Oklahoma stands ready to receive evacuee transport from Texas if necessary. The evacuees would be housed at the shelter located in the former Lucent Technology Center, 7725 W. Reno in Oklahoma City. Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) officials are working directly with City of Oklahoma City officials to support operation of the shelter and deliver necessary resources. The same facility was used last week to shelter about 1,800 Louisiana residents evacuated due to Hurricane Gustav.
Mandatory evacuation orders remain in place for numerous counties along the Texas coastal area; voluntary evacuations are posted in others. Whether Oklahoma receives evacuee transport from Texas depends on the storm strength and path as well as the predicted storm surge.
Oklahoma remains under a state of emergency, as declared by Gov. Brad Henry. This paves the way for the state to receive federal disaster assistance to cover expenses should Oklahoma receive evacuees.
Texas -- The center of Category 2 Ike is located about 195 miles southeast of Galveston. Movement is toward the west, northwest at 12 mph. A turn toward the northwest is expected later today. Maximum sustained winds are 105 mph. Ike is a very large storm with hurricane force winds extending outward up to 120 miles from the center and tropical storm force winds up to 275 miles. Ike is expected to be over Galveston between 1 and 2 a.m. Saturday.
Oklahoma – Areas of northwest Oklahoma have already received 7 to 9 inches of rain unrelated to the hurricane. A flash flood watch continues for the northwest region through Saturday morning. Ike is expected to impact the southeastern third of Oklahoma late Saturday into Sunday. A flash flood watch is posted for this area as well.
Alfalfa County Emergency Management reports highway 45 is closed out of Helena. Highway 58 is also closed north of Helena. Two feet of water reported on some roadways. Flooding also reported in Cherokee and Driftwood.
Dewey County Emergency Management reports highway 60 near Vici is closed. West of Taloga, the Oakwood bridge is under 2 feet of water. Leedey also reports flooding.
Ellis County Emergency Management reports some local county roads in the southeast portion of the county are washed out.
Grant County Emergency Management reports numerous local roads are closed. Highway 11 west of Medford is closed and highway 132 north of Nash and south of Manchester is closed. Highway 81 north of Medford is also closed. One to four feet of water reported in some low lying areas.
Major County Emergency Management reports heavy, localized flooding in Fairview. Highway 60 north out of Fairview is closed. Numerous county roads also closed due to flooding.
Woods County Emergency Management reports highway 64 between Alva and Cherokee is closed. Numerous vehicles had to be pulled from flooded roadways early this morning. Highway 281 south of Alva is closed.
Woodward City/County Emergency Management reports the EOC is activated. Heavy flooding is reported in the southeast corner of the county and Highway 412 is closed.
Please Do Not Self-Deploy
Oklahomans are discouraged from self-deploying to the Texas coastal region where evacuations are already underway. In most cases, access to the affected areas, requires proper credentials and travel documents. As Oklahoma receives requests for personnel, equipment and supplies, OEM will look to local county and municipal emergency managers to identify the needed resources. OEM will work through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), an interstate mutual aid agreement, to deploy resources to the affected areas.
How Can Oklahomans Help?
Monetary donations are best. A number of the disaster relief agencies Oklahoma always depends on in disaster times are already working to assist those affected by Ike. At the same time those same agencies continue to help those impacted by Hurricane Gustav. Oklahomans are urged to give to the disaster relief agency of their choice, to include the American Red Cross, The Salvation Army and other faith-based organizations. Go to www.okvoad.org for a list of disaster relief organizations.