Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Situation Update 15
February 1, 2010, 1 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 in the affected areas. 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, Oklahoma Department of Agriculture Food and Forestry, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA.
INJURIES AND FATALITIES
Seven fatalities are attributed to the winter storm.
The Office of the State Medical Examiner reports:
-- An 86-year-old Yukon man died today due to injuries sustained Friday when he slipped and fell while shoveling snow.
-- A 79-year-old Harmon County woman was found dead in her house where there was no power and the inside temperature was 30 degrees on Saturday.
-- A 59-year-old Geary woman was found dead outside her home Saturday.
-- A 62-year-old Anadarko man was found dead today in his travel trailer where there was no power and the inside temperature was 28 degrees.
-- A 73-year-old Pontotoc County man died Saturday in a house fire after using a wood-burning stove due to power outages.
-- 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 (OHP) reports:
-- A 33-year-old Holdenville man died today in a one-vehicle crash one mile north of US 270 on SH 48 in Hughes County. A passenger in the car, another Holdenville man, was treated and released from Holdenville General Hospital.
OHP has worked 568 storm related crashes, including 120 involving injury since the storm began. The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) reports 9 people have been treated for carbon monoxide poisoning. (This is an adjustment to previous reports) Additionally, OSDH reports 465 injuries from slips and falls and 100 injuries from motor vehicle accidents related to the storm.
Injuries related to the recent winter storm continue to climb according to numbers from the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH). Of particular concern are fatalities involving the elderly as five of the seven reported fatalities have involved persons over the age of 60.Relatives and neighbors are encouraged to check on elderly Oklahomans and ask them to remain indoors if the power is on or to move to a shelter or other warm place if the electricity is off. At least 465 slip and fall injuries have been reported statewide. Weather forecasts indicate a repeated thaw and freeze cycle this week that will result in ice and slick areas. The OSDH also reports 101 injuries from motor vehicle accidents, and 9 cases of carbon monoxide poisoning related to the storm. The OSDH urges those who are using portable generators to make certain they are not placed for use indoors or in garages, basements or sheds. Generators should be placed well away -- at least 25 feet -- from windows, doors, vents or any other opening. Some persons may be tempted to use charcoal grills, camp stoves or other gasoline/charcoal burning devices indoors during a power outage. These alternative fuel sources can also produce significant amounts of carbon monoxide poisoning. Additional winter weather precautions are available on the Oklahoma State Department of Health Web site at http://www.ok.gov/health/Winter_Precautions.html.
Again today, melting may create some temporary "spikes" in outages. As ice melts, the weight shift may cause lines to bounce together. However, overall outages should continue to decrease as crews continue their work to restore service.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission reports 78,674 homes and businesses are without electric service due to the winter storm, which includes the following.
PSO reports 29,227 customers without power including those in:
Elk City 422
The Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority reports 14,916 customers without power in:
City of Mangum is still on Municipal Generation.
The Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives (OAEC) reports 32,508 customers without power in:
Caddo Electric, Binger: 7,894
Canadian Valley Electric, Seminole: 3,477
Cotton Electric, Walters: 9,522
East Central OK Electric, Okmulgee: 275
Harmon Electric Association, Hollis: 3,303
Kiwash Electric, Cordell: 1,150
Northfork Electric, Sayre: 600
Oklahoma Electric, Norman: 200
People’s Electric, Ada: 787
Rural Electric, Lindsay: 3,800
SW Rural Electric, Tipton: 1,500
OG&E reports 2,023 customers (including 366 in Seminole and 354 in Wewoka) are without service.
Oklahoma remains under an emergency disaster declaration. On Saturday President Barrack Obama approved Gov. Henry’s request for the federal disaster aid 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 also remains under a State of Emergency, as declared by Gov. Henry on Wednesday. The State of Emergency allows state agencies to make emergency purchases and acquisitions needed to expedite the delivery of resources to local jurisdictions. The executive order 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.
More than 60 generators have been deployed from the State EOC to provide power to critical facilities like shelters, water treatment plans and hospitals in communities impacted by the storm. The Oklahoma National Guard delivered the generators.
Resources to support local efforts, including bottled water, blankets, cots and meals ready to eat (MREs) which were secured through the federal government, continue to be deployed through the State EOC.
Please note these generators are not for residential use.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) reports for the most part, highways are clear of snow. Skeleton crews continue to deal with the refreeze statewide, particularly on ramps, shoulders. Drivers should remain alert to black-ice conditions and cautious of refreeze in the overnight with low temps. Motorists are reminded to clear all snow and ice from all windows as well as the top of their vehicle before driving.
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
On Sunday, about 3,000 visited the shelters and about 12,000 meals were served. The following 44 shelters and feeding centers remain open:
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
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.
Cement -- School Gym, 201 N. Main Street
Chickasha - Grady County Fairgrounds, 500 East Choctaw
Concho -- Concho Community Hall, 200 Wolf Robe Circle
Cyril – Cyril Senior Center, 3 Ohio Street
Duncan - Stephens County Fairgrounds, 2002 S 13th Street
Elgin – Elgin Fire Department, 7892 US Highway 277
Elmore City – First Baptist Church, 107 S Texas Ave.
Geronimo – First Baptist Church
Granite – Granite Public School, 206 W. Parker
Hobart - First Methodist Church, 201 S. Washington
Hollis -- Hollis Civic Center, 208 W. Jones
Lawton – Comanche Nation College, 1608 SW 9th
Lawton -- Cameron Baptist Church, 2621 SW C Ave.
Lindsay -- Calvary Baptist Church, 5th and Chickasaw
Mangum - Church of New Beginnings, 408 North Tittle Ave.
Marlow -- First Baptist Church of Marlow, 213 North Broadway
Medicine Park – Community Center
Pauls Valley – Garvin County Fair Barn, 1401 N Willow
Purcell -- Multi-Purpose Center, 1400 Chandler Rd
Roosevelt – First Baptist Church,132 Frederick
Rush Springs – Fire Department, 110 N. 3rd Street
Snyder – First Baptist Church, 729 E Street
Seiling -- Community Building
Tipton – First Baptist Church, 300 East Davis Ave
Watonga – Watonga Community Center
Watonga – Watonga Cheyenne-Arapaho Community Center
Wynnewood - First Baptist Church, 1515 E. Robert S. Kerr Blvd
Anadarko – First Baptist Church, 700 Petree
Blanchard – Telephone Building, 101 E Veteran’s Memorial Hwy
El Dorado -- El Dorado Community Center, 514 W. Main
Hobart -- First United Methodist, 201 S. Washington
Lawton – Comanche Tribe Elder Center, 1107 SW H Ave
McAlester – Salvation Army Office, 400 N. A Street
Seminole – Seminole City Hall, 420 Reid St.
Woodward -- Woodward American Red Cross Chapter, 1209 Ninth Street
Fletcher – American Legion Building, Selby & Tenneppe
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 continues to assist at the Grady County Fairgrounds shelter in Chickasha, where they are providing supervision and all meals. In Cyril at the Senior Center they are providing all meals as well. In Altus, they continue to provide meals to city, 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.
Today, their Baptist Chainsaw groups began taking requests for clearing large trees from individual homes. To request 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.
As temperatures warm into the 30s across much of the state today, Oklahomans are reminded to watch out for falling ice. Freezing fog may form again tonight in parts of Oklahoma. Winds are expected to remain less than 10 mph. Temperatures will warm into the 40s on Tuesday which will allow some of the ice to melt in southwest and south central areas of the state. Rain is still expected Wednesday through Friday across southern Oklahoma however, it won’t rain all the time.
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.