Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Situation Update 4
January 28, 2010, 9:30 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.
Oklahoma remains under a State of Emergency, as declared by Gov. Brad Henry.
The State of Emergency marks a first step toward seeking federal assistance, should it be necessary. Additionally, 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.
All state offices in Canadian, Cleveland, Lincoln, Logan, McClain, Oklahoma and Pottawatomie counties were closed today. Numerous schools remain closed through tomorrow.
INJURIES AND FATALITIES
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol reports troopers have worked 86 storm related crashes, including 27 involving injury. The Oklahoma State Department of Health reports 137 injuries due to slips and falls and 25 injuries due to motor vehicle accidents.
Freezing rain is moving into far eastern Oklahoma and will exit the state shortly. The primary precipitation across the state will be snow with likely accumulations across northern Oklahoma. Winds will be strong out of the north and temperatures will be in the 20s. Additional snowfall is likely on Friday across parts of the state. A Winter Storm Warning continues for much of Oklahoma, with the exception of southeast sections.
Strong winds continue to cause significant power problems in southwest Oklahoma. Some cell towers remain on emergency backup. Sporadic Internet outages are also being reported.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission reports about 132,517 homes and businesses are without electric service due to the storm, including the following.
PSO reports 47,723 customers (including 12,033 in Chickasha and 21,744 in Lawton) are without power.
OG&E reports 17,724 customers (including 2,060 in Colbert, 1,938 in Stratford and 1,928 in Holdenville) are without service.
The Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority reports 11,808 customers without power. This includes 608 municipal electric customers in Olustee and Eldorado, 2,300 customers in Marlow and 8,900 in Duncan.
The Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives reports 55,262 customers without power in:
Caddo Electric Cooperative, Binger: 5,664
Cotton Electric Cooperative, Walters: 14,733
East Central Electric Cooperative, Okmulgee: 250
Harmon Electric Cooperative, Hollis: 3,300
Southwest Rural Cooperative, Tipton: 1,500
Kiwash Electric Cooperative, Cordell: 2,000
Rural Electric Cooperative, Lindsay: 7,500
Oklahoma Electric Cooperative, Norman: 5,304
People's Electric Cooperative, Ada: 5,393
Canadian Valley Electric Cooperative, Seminole: 6,918
Ozarks Electric Cooperative, Stilwell: 50
Northfork Electric Cooperative, Sayre: 2,600
Cimarron Electric Cooperative, Kingfisher: 50
The State EOC is working to provide generators in Asher (Pottawatomie County) and Apache (Caddo County) for shelter operations, and in Stephens County where a water system is down due to power outages. The Oklahoma National Guard will deliver the generators.
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 closed from mile markers 83 to 63 (Highway 62 to Elgin) due to downed power lines. Additionally, Highway 54 is closed southbound out of Guymon. Roads remain slick and hazardous in western, southwestern, central and northeastern regions of the state. OHP continues to discourage travel. 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.
SHELTERS AND MASS FEEDING
The following shelters and warming centers are open due to the winter storm:
Altus – Altus Community Center, 401 Falcon Road
Asher – Asher First Baptist Church, 109 E. Main
Canton -- Canton Town Hall, 300 N. Garfield
Carnegie -- Carnegie Elementary School, 202 W. 4th St.
Duncan -- Stephens County Fairgrounds, 1616 S. 13th Street
Elmore City – Elmore City First Baptist Church, 107 S. Texas
Geary -- Geary Community Center, 38 WolfRobe Circle
Hammon -- Hammon Community Building, 801 N. Dunn
Holdenville -- Holdenville Senior Center, 124 N. Creek
Hollis – Civic Center, 208 W. Jones
Lawton -- Cameron Baptist Church, 2621 SW C Ave.
Lindsay – Calvary Baptist Church, 5th and Chickasaw
Mangum -- Mangum Presbyterian Church, 314 N. Oklahoma
Newcastle -- Newcastle Storm Shelter, 801 N. Carr
Pauls Valley – Garvin County Fairbarn, 1401 N. Willow
Seiling -- Seiling Community Building, 411 N. Main
Watonga – Watonga Cheyenne-Arapaho Community Center
Chickasha – Grady County Fairgrounds, 500 E. Choctaw Ave.
El Dorado – El Dorado Community Center, 514 W. Main
El Dorado -- El Dorado School, 116 N. Seventh
Hobart -- First Methodist Church, 201 S. Washington
McAlester – Salvation Army Office, 400 N. A Street
Woodward -- Woodward American Red Cross Chapter, 1209 Ninth Street
An open warming center is capable of turning into a shelter at any time if officials determine a need for overnight sheltering.
The Salvation Army reports their Oklahoma City shelter location is at near capacity. All additional guests will be placed on cots and mats.
Additionally, Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief is supporting the shelters with 20 feeding sites. Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief also has chainsaw teams on standby to assist with removing downed tree branches in the affected areas.
Currently the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) is monitoring several hospitals that are without power but are on back-up generators. The situation is being monitored very closely to ensure patients are comfortable and that sufficient staffing is in place. Several nursing homes have also lost power and OSDH personnel are monitoring those facilities closely. Many of the older health department facilities also experienced power disruptions and had to transfer their vaccine to local hospitals that have back-up power. OSDH personnel continue to monitor shelter operations, feeding sites and medical facilities to ensure that at-risk population is taken care of during this incident. State health department wants to remind all citizens to wear several layers of loose fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing if going outside during the storm. The outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent. Several other tips include wearing mittens which are warmer than gloves, always wear a protective garment on your head and cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.
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. Please only call 911 for emergencies.