Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Situation Update 10
January 30, 2010, 5:30 p.m.
WINTER STORM CONTINUES TO IMPACT STATE
The State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) remains activated and the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) is in contact with emergency managers across the state. Agencies and organizations represented at the State EOC include the: American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Oklahoma Military Department, Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, 2-1-1 Oklahoma, Oklahoma Department of Transportation and the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture Food and Forestry.
President Barrack Obama today approved Gov. Henry’s request for an emergency declaration covering all 77 Oklahoma counties. The emergency declaration authorizes federal resources to assist state and local governments as they continue to respond to the severe winter storm. These resources include industrial size generators, bottled water, cots and blankets. The need for additional federal disaster aid to cover further response and recovery costs is currently being assessed.
Oklahoma remains under a State of Emergency, as declared by Gov. Henry on Wednesday.
The State of Emergency marks a first step toward seeking federal assistance and the executive order allows state agencies to make emergency purchases and acquisitions needed to expedite the delivery of resources to local jurisdictions. The declaration provides a formal mechanism for local governments to seek reimbursement for recovery costs through the state’s disaster public assistance program if conditions warrant.
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 urged to contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit at (405) 521-2029.
INJURIES AND FATALITIES
One fatality is attributed to the winter storm, according to the Oklahoma Office of the State Medical Examiner. A 70-year-old Ada woman died Friday after a propane tank exploded at her home. The propane tank was being used to fuel a generator due to power outages. Her husband was hospitalized in critical condition due to the incident.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol reports troopers have worked 452 storm related crashes, including 86 involving injury since the storm began. The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) reports 10 people have been admitted to hospitals with carbon monoxide poisoning. Additionally, OSDH reports 232 slips and falls and 51 motor vehicle accidents involving injury related to the storm.
Cloudy skies prevailed across Oklahoma this morning with some breaks across western sections. Mostly sunny skies remained this afternoon as the storm system responsible for the ice and snow moved farther away from the state. Tonight, temperatures will plunge to the single digits and teens. Sunday will start a warming trend with temperatures generally in the 30s. Monday and Tuesday will see additional warming, with temperatures in the 40s.
Only a slight chance of rain exists for later in the week. Temperatures should be near seasonal averages by late in the week.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission reports 115,428 homes and businesses are without electric service due to the winter storm, which includes the following.
PSO reports 47,222 customers without power including those in:
Chickasha area - 12,918
Duncan area - 3,941
Hobart area - 6,061
Lawton area - 19,824
Okmulgee/Henryetta area - 597
Tipton area - 3,775
The Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority reports 16,532 customers without power in:
The Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives reports 43,738 customers without power in:
Caddo Electric, Binger: 7,140
Canadian Valley Electric, Seminole: 7,324
Cotton Electric, Walters: 10,808
East Central OK Electric, Okmulgee: 1,300
Harmon Electric Association, Hollis: 3,303
Kiwash Electric, Cordell: 2,000
Northfork Electric, Sayre: 195
Oklahoma Electric, Norman: 1,529
Ozarks Electric, Stilwell, Fayetteville: 37
People’s Electric, Ada: 3,102
Rural Electric, Lindsay: 5,500
SW Rural Electric, Tipton: 1,500
OG&E reports 7,936 customers (including 1,301 in Ada and 641 in Seminole) are without service.
OG&E continues to operate customer walk-up centers in Ada, Seminole and Pauls Valley. The centers provide customers affected by the ice storm a place to report their power outage and learn about the power restoration process directly from employees of OG&E. The locations are:
Ada: Apple Market, 220 E. 13th Street
Seminole: Homeland Store, 1701 N. Milt Phillips Ave.
Pauls Valley: Homeland Store, 505 S. Chickasaw Avenue
The walk-up centers are open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. They will remain open as long as they are needed.
The State EOC continues to deploy generators to provide power to critical facilities like shelters, water treatment plans and hospitals in communities impacted by the storm. Already generators have been deployed through the EOC and delivered by the Oklahoma National Guard to Asher, Apache and Hobart for shelter operations, and in Marlow, Duncan and Stephens, Jefferson, Grady and Greer counties for water systems that are down.
Industrial-size generators and truck loads of bottled water secured through the federal government will be deployed through the State EOC to cities, towns and counties as needed due to power outages. The federal generators augment the industrial size state generators already positioned around the state. The industrial size generators are for shelters, water treatment plants and hospitals.
Please note these generators are not for residential use.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) reports the HE Bailey Turnpike is now open. In the last 24-hours troopers have helped 489 motorists in need of assistance.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) reports Interstate lanes are open and passable throughout the state with traffic moving at near normal speeds. However, bridges, overpasses and ramps remain ice packed and rough. Caution is advised in these areas.
ODOT crews continue to work around the clock to clear roadways. Drivers are urged to stay at least 200 feet behind road-clearing equipment. Additionally, motorists are asked to:
-- Be aware that conditions are continually changing; drive cautiously and for the conditions on the roadway.
-- Check road conditions before getting out on the roads.
-- Allow extra space between vehicles, so there is adequate distance for braking in icy conditions.
-- Be aware of "black ice," which looks wet on the roadway, but is actually a thin layer of ice.
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; Colorado 303-639-1111; New Mexico 800-432-4269; and Missouri, 800-222-6400.
SHELTERS AND MASS FEEDING
Friday night 2,250 people stayed at the shelters and made use of the feeding and warming centers opened due to the winter storm. The following shelters and warming centers remain open:
Ada – Lazer Zone Family Fun Center, 14601 CR 3544
Altus – First Baptist Church, 300 N. Main
Altus – Altus Community Center, 401 Falcon Rd
Anadarko -- First Baptist Church, 700 Pettree
Apache – Clark Community Center, 301 E. Evans St
Asher -- First Baptist Church, 109 E. Main St
Brindle – Brindle Corner, 20107 E. Robinson Hwy 9
Canton -- Canton Town Hall, 207 N. Garfield
Carnegie – First Assembly of God Church, 715 E. Oklahoma
Carnegie – Kiowa Complex, 100 Kiowa Way
Carnegie -- Carnegie Elementary School, 202 West 4th St.
Chickasha - Grady County Fairgrounds, 500 East Choctaw
Concho -- Concho Community Hall, 200 Wolf Robe Circle
Cyril – Cyril Senior Center, 3 Ohio St
Duncan - Stephens County Fairgrounds, 2002 S 13th Street
Elmore City – First Baptist Church, 107 S Texas Ave.
Granite – United Methodist Church, 206 Parker
Hobart - First Methodist Church, 201 S. Washington
Holdenville - Senior Center, 124 N. Creek
Hollis -- Hollis Civic Center, 208 W. Jones
Lawton – Hunting Horse Methodist, SW 25th & E Ave.
Lawton -- Cameron Baptist Church, 2621 SW C Ave.
Lindsay -- Calvary Baptist Church, 5th and Chickasaw
Mangum - Church of New Beginnings, 408 North Tittle Ave.
Maysville – First Baptist Church, 300 Ripley St
Newcastle -- Newcastle Storm Shelter, 851 N Carr
Paoli – Paoli Senior Citizens Center, 408 W. Davis
Pauls Valley – Garvin County Fair Barn, 1401 N Willow
Purcell -- Multi-Purpose Center, 1400 Chandler Rd
Seiling -- Community Building
Tecumseh – Tecumseh City Hall, 114 N. Broadway St.
Watonga – Watonga Community Center
Watonga – Watonga Cheyenne-Arapaho Community Center
Anadarko – First Baptist Church, 700 Petree
El Dorado -- El Dorado Community Center, 514 W. Main
El Dorado -- El Dorado School, 116 N. 7th
Hobart -- First United Methodist, 201 S. Washington
McAlester – Salvation Army Office, 400 N. A Street
Seminole – Seminole City Hall, 420 Reid St.
Waurika – Waurika Elementary School, 600 Education Ave
Woodward -- Woodward American Red Cross Chapter, 1209 Ninth Street
Wynnewood - First Baptist Church, 1515 E. Robert S. Kerr Blvd.
An open warming center is capable of turning into a shelter at any time if officials determine a need for overnight sheltering.
The American Red Cross remains ready to open more shelters as needed and currently has additional capacity in the shelters that are open. For more shelter information, contact the Red Cross at (888) 405-9543.
The Salvation Army reports they are assisting Chickasha Emergency Management’s shelter with supervision, meals, and snacks. Caddo County is receiving assistance in Cyril with lunch and dinner. Lawton provided food to the City of Snyder Emergency Management’s shelter as well as the City of Cache Emergency Management’s shelter. Additionally, they provided cots and blankets to the Red Cross shelter at Cameron Baptist Church in Lawton. In Altus, they are providing meals to city and utility workers and first responders.
The Oklahoma Department of Human Services is supplying some shelters with USDA food commodities.
Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief is supporting the shelters with feeding sites.
On Monday, their Baptist Chainsaw groups will begin taking request for clearing large trees from individual homes. To ask for assistance call: 405-388-6912, 405-496-1196 or 405-443-7583. The Baptist priorities of assistance are elderly (who needs assistance), single women with children and families with heads of households on military duty overseas.
FEMA is providing 13 trucks of water, Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) and cots for use in shelters and to support response personnel. The supplies are scheduled to arrive in the state tomorrow.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) continues to deal with health and medical issues. County elements of the Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps were mobilized overnight to assist with health and medical needs in support of shelter operations. The medical reserve corps is designed to bring together practicing and retired healthcare professionals from a diversity of fields, including physicians, nurses, hospital and public health workers, mental health experts, and other medical professions. In addition, volunteers without a background in medical training are involved. These professionals, working together, comprise the corps, which supplements existing "first responder" emergency systems. OSDH would like to remind all citizens to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning by not operating a generator, pressure washer, charcoal grill, camp stove, or other gasoline-or charcoal-burning device inside the home, basement or garage or near a window, door, or vent. Do not heat a house with a gas oven.
For Oklahoma residents seeking non-emergency disaster or health and human service information, please contact your local 2-1-1. Services are available 24 hours a day by dialing 2-1-1 from your home or cellular telephone. 2-1-1 is a statewide service. Please only call 911 for emergencies.