Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
Situation Update 4
May 25, 2011 – 6 p.m.
OKLAHOMA TORNADO RECOVERY CONTINUES
The State Emergency Operations Center has returned to normal operations. The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) remains in contact with emergency managers in the affected areas and continues to coordinate the delivery of any needed resources with the Oklahoma National Guard, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma Department of Human Services, Oklahoma Department of Transportation, National Weather Service, American Red Cross and Salvation Army.
STATE OF EMERGENCY
Governor Mary Fallin today declared a State of Emergency for 68 Oklahoma counties due to tornadoes, severe storms, straight line winds and flooding that began Tuesday. Under the Executive Order, state agencies can make emergency purchases and acquisitions needed to expedite the delivery of resources to local jurisdictions. The declaration also marks a first step toward seeking federal assistance should it be necessary.
The counties included in the declaration are: Adair, Alfalfa, Atoka, Blaine, Bryan, Caddo, Canadian, Carter, Cherokee, Choctaw, Cleveland, Coal, Comanche, Cotton, Craig, Creek, Custer, Delaware, Dewey, Garfield, Garvin, Grady, Grant, Haskell, Hughes, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnston, Kay, Kingfisher, Kiowa, Latimer, LeFlore, Lincoln, Logan, Love, Major, Marshall, Mayes, McClain, McCurtain, McIntosh, Murray, Muskogee, Noble, Nowata, Okfuskee, Oklahoma, Okmulgee, Osage, Ottawa, Pawnee, Payne, Pittsburg, Pontotoc, Pottawatomie, Pushmataha, Rogers, Seminole, Sequoyah, Stephens, Tillman, Tulsa, Wagoner, Washington, Washita, Woods and Woodward.
These Oklahoma counties were east of a dry-line and in an area which experienced tornadoes, straight line winds, damaging hail and flooding. Damage assessments are ongoing.
FATALITIES AND INJURIES
The following 9 fatalities are attributed to the tornadoes and severe storms, according to the Oklahoma State Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. In addition to the age and gender, the location where the victim was found is included for each of the fatalities. The Medical Examiner is working to determine cause and manner of death on the victims.
16 month old boy -- Piedmont
Unidentified female – Calumet
Unidentified female – Calumet
Unidentified male -- Calumet
Unidentified male -- Calumet
63 year old male -- Cashion
58 year old female -- Cashion
24 year old female -- Chickasha
22 year old male -- Calumet
136 injuries are attributed to the storm, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health.
Quiet and mild conditions are expected across Oklahoma through Friday; however there is a slight chance of thunderstorms on Friday. Memorial Day weekend is expected to be warm and dry across much of the state. While a large part of the Oklahoma has received rainfall, drought conditions are ongoing in western sections and the panhandle.
Preliminary data from the National Weather Service regarding Tuesday's tornado outbreak indicates at least 13 tornadoes reported in the state with one rated EF-3. Additional information and rankings will be released during the next few days.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission reports about 21,408 homes and business are without electric service due to the storm, including the following.
PSO reports 597 customers without power (including 119 in Tulsa and 343 in Chickasha).
OG&E reports 18,337 customers without service (including 7,528 in the Oklahoma City metro area).
Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives (OAEC) reports about 2,474 customers are without power in the following service areas:
Caddo Electric Cooperative, Binger
Central Rural Electric Cooperative, Stillwater
Cimarron Electric Cooperative, Kingfisher
Kiamichi Electric Cooperative, Wilburton
Lake Region Electric Cooperative, Hulbert
Northeast Oklahoma Electric Cooperative, Vinita
Oklahoma Electric Cooperative, Norman
Red River Valley REA, Marietta
Rural Electric Cooperative, Lindsay
A total of at least 950 OAEC distribution system poles and at 71-75 high voltage transmission line structures, along with two heavily damaged substations have been reported.
SHELTERS AND FEEDING
The American Red Cross is operating the following shelters for those displaced by the storm:
Canton – Canton Community Center – 301 N. Garfield Street
Chickasha – Bible Baptist Church – 226 S. 29th Street
Guthrie – Noble Avenue Baptist Church – 1219 W. Noble
Kansas- Kansas High School Gym – 700 N Woods Avenue
Newcastle – Newcastle Storm Shelter – 851 N. Carr
Piedmont – First Baptist Church – 15 Jackson Avenue NW
Stillwater – American Red Cross Chapter – 114 W. Eighth Street
Vinita – First Christian Church – 226 W Canadian
Shelter services are also available at the Salvation Army in El Reno at 201 S. Bickford
Additionally, The Salvation Army continues to provide mobile feeding units in Chickasha and El Reno.
The American Red Cross is deploying numerous Disaster Action Teams into several Oklahoma communities.
OKLAHOMA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality is currently working with communities to assess potential impacts to water treatment plants and wastewater treatment facilities in the affected areas.
OKLAHOMA STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
Don’t Let One Disaster Follow Another – State Health Department Urges Simple Steps to Assure Safety After Tornadoes Strike:
-- Anyone in need of a tetanus shot should contact their local county health department or their personal physician. In some areas hit hard by yesterday’s storms, mobile health department trailers have been dispatched to provide tetanus shots and basic first aid. Tetanus shots are recommended for anyone who hasn’t had a tetanus booster within the last 10 years.
-- Carbon monoxide poisoning is also a concern as residents without power use generators near homes. Never use a generator inside homes, garages, crawl spaces, sheds, or similar areas, even when using fans or opening doors and windows for ventilation. Deadly levels of carbon monoxide can quickly build up in these areas and can linger for hours, even after the generator has shut off. Generators should be a sufficient distance from a home and anyone feeling dizzy around a generator should immediately get outside to fresh air. In addition, never connect the generator directly to the home’s electrical system due to the potential of back feed electricity harming crews trying to restore power.
-- If you must use a chain saw, follow the instructions to be safe. Wear a hard hat, safety glasses, ear plugs, thick work gloves, chaps, and boots. Always hold the saw at waist level or below, and make sure that others remain far away. Take extra care in cutting “spring poles” – trees or branches that are bent, twisted, hung up on, or caught under another object during a high wind.
For more storm recovery information, visit the Coping After The Storm section of the Oklahoma State Department of Health website at www.health.ok.gov.
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.
Situation Updates are posted at www.oem.ok.gov
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Next Situation Update: As conditions warrant