Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
Situation Update 7
May 24, 2013 5:25 p.m.
SEVERE WEATHER IMPACTS STATE
Due to widespread tornado damage, the State Emergency Operations Center remains activated. The EOC will not remain open over the weekend. This will be the final situation update for this event. Please refer to the State’s website, OKStrong.ok.gov for future information.
The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) is in contact with emergency managers across the state and coordinating with the Oklahoma National Guard, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma Department of Human Services, Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security, Oklahoma Department of Transportation, Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, Office of Management and Enterprise Services, Oklahoma Insurance Department, Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Service, National Weather Service, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Medical Reserve Corps, American Red Cross, the Salvation Army and the Oklahoma Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD).
In all the affected areas, authorities have started clearing debris from roadways and public rights of way. In addition to local efforts, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, Oklahoma Turnpike Authority and state Department of Agriculture continue to assist with debris removal efforts.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency will pay 85 percent of debris removal costs for the first 30 days. FEMA will pay smaller percentages of debris removal costs after 30 days.
DEQ is working with cities and counties to help develop and implement debris disposal plans.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service has started efforts to clear widespread timber and brush debris in rural areas that is impairing water channels, potentially affecting roadways, bridges and culverts.
In the Moore area, the Oklahoma National Guard remains activated, with 161 members deployed in 36 vehicles throughout the area. The Guard is also assisting with providing drinking water to the area.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol will stand down all troops and Command One at 6 p.m. today.
THE CITY OF MOORE
The City of Moore is coordinating a call center to help assist with all persons interested in helping with relief efforts. The call center is the central hub hotline for those looking to donate time, non-perishable food items, clothing, toys and monetary contributions. If interested in volunteering or donating resources, call 1-866-484-3500, visit www.ServeMoore.com or visit moore.recovers.org. The phone lines are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
The Oklahoma Office of the Chief Medical Examiner reports 24 fatalities related to Monday’s storms. Two fatalities are attributed to Sunday’s storms in the Shawnee and Carney areas.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) reports that local hospitals have treated 387 individuals for injuries as a result of this week’s storms.
Governor Mary Fallin on Friday signed legislation directing $45 million from the state’s Constitutional Reserve Fund to the State Emergency Fund for ongoing recovery and rebuilding efforts following this week’s storms. OEM will use the money to leverage federal funds, repair infrastructure, assist local entities, and more.
The Oklahoma City-County Health Department, Cleveland County Health Department, Pottawatomie County Health Department and Lincoln County Health Department continue to provide vaccinations to volunteers and recovery workers. Local health departments are also working to assess shelters, provide resource information to victims, and inspect food vendors to ensure public health and safety.
The Oklahoma City-County Health Department and Blue Cross/Blue Shield Caring Van will provide tetanus vaccinations Saturday, May 25. The mobile immunization van will provide services in Oklahoma City neighborhoods recently impacted by the tornados. Additionally, vaccines will be given from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Moore-Norman Technology Center at 13301 S Pennsylvania Ave. in Oklahoma City. The free vaccine will be available to all rescue workers, volunteers, and residents in areas that were affected by Monday’s tornados.
To date, the Cleveland County Health Department has provided 412 tetanus vaccinations, Pottawatomie County Health Department has provided 284, Lincoln County Health Department has provided nearly 150, and Oklahoma City-County Health Department has provided 138.
This weekend the Cleveland County Health Department will deploy strike teams in the Moore area to provide tetanus shots and basic first aid. Workers will be in the field from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday through Monday. The Moore branch of the Cleveland County Health Department will also be open Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to provide tetanus vaccinations. In Pottawatomie County, strike teams will be offering vaccinations on Saturday and Monday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS) has established an emergency response center within the tornado disaster zone in Moore at the Cleveland County Health Department, 424 S Eastern Ave. in Moore. ODMHSAS is also coordinating volunteer efforts and providing mandatory training for behavioral health professionals wishing to assist with services for those in need. To be admitted into the disaster zone, volunteers must have received training and hold a valid identification badge. Badges will be issued by the ODMHSAS at the completion of training.
ODMHSAS is also offering services through the Disaster Distress Helpline, 1 (800) 985-5990. The helpline can provide immediate counseling to anyone who needs help dealing emotionally with the aftermath of the storms.
The Cleveland County Health Department has deployed mental health strike teams to shelters, and the Pottawatomie County Health Department has coordinated nurses to support American Red Cross shelters.
Local health departments are coordinating efforts with the Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps (OKMRC) to supplement staffing for various efforts. Over 1,500 volunteers have signed up with the OKMRC since Monday.
Individuals who want to volunteer to help with disaster relief should register on the OKMRC website at www.okmrc.org. OKMRC is designed to bring together different healthcare-related organizations and members of the community, including physicians, nurses, public health workers, and other medical professionals. In addition, volunteers without a background in medical training are needed.
Northbound and southbound lanes of I-35 through Moore are open and all I-35 off-ramps in the Moore area are reopened except southbound I-35 at SW 19th. However, emergency and cleanup crews are requesting motorists to avoid I-35 in Moore. Heavy traffic in the area is hindering cleanup operations and ongoing emergency response.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation reports no road closures in the Shawnee or Carney areas.
No official property damage count has been completed for storms that took place May 19-20 in Cleveland, Lincoln, McClain, Oklahoma and Pottawatomie counties. FEMA is assisting OEM and other agencies in the process of assessing damage to homes and businesses. The assessment is ongoing due to the wide scope of damage sustained in the affected areas. Preliminary aerial assessments show an estimated 1,150 homes destroyed, however, final assessments are not yet completed. It will be several days before official damage counts are completed and released.
Oklahoma Insurance Department officials estimate up to $2 billion in damage may have occurred in the affected areas.
President Barack Obama has issued a major disaster declaration for Cleveland, Lincoln, McClain, Oklahoma and Pottawatomie counties. The declaration makes individual assistance available to tornado survivors in those counties. All affected individuals, regardless of income level or insurance policy status, are encouraged to apply for individual assistance. The same counties were also approved for public assistance to include debris removal, emergency protective measures and direct federal assistance.
Homeowners, renters and business owners in those counties are encouraged to register with FEMA for potential recovery assistance. Survivors can register online at disasterassistance.gov, via smartphone at m.fema.gov, or by calling 1-800-621-3362. FEMA officials are on the ground in Moore and Shawnee to provide information about registration. FEMA officials are also registering individuals on site with iPads. FEMA disaster recovery centers where individuals can receive face-to-face assistance are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at:
- First Baptist Church, 301 NE 27th St., Moore
- Heart of Oklahoma Expo Center, 1700 W Independence, Shawnee
More than 3,100 Oklahomans have registered for disaster assistance.
U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will provide support to homeowners and low-income renters forced from their homes due to the storms. The President’s declaration allows HUD to offer certain foreclosure relief and other assistance to certain families living in the five disaster counties. Individuals who were receiving HUD rental assistance before the disaster should contact their Public Housing Authority, multi-family apartment manager or local HUD office for help in locating temporary housing.
The Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs and Disabled America Veterans are providing assistance to veterans affected by this week’s storms. Affected veterans should go to the mobile command post in The Home Depot parking lot at 650 SW 19th in Moore. Financial assistance grants will be expedited for affected veterans.
Attorneys are offering free, disaster-related legal advice to affected individuals through a partnership with the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Disaster Relief program, FEMA and the American Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division. Individuals seeking legal advice can visit okbar.org or call 866-341-8416 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.
In the Moore area, preliminary water line testing by the Department of Environmental Quality shows no problems with drinking water. More testing is underway.
Wireless telecommunications providers have taken steps to boost wireless communications capabilities in the area. Some providers have established telecommunication centers for residents and rescue workers to access charging stations, emergency phones, internet capability and more at the following locations:
- Moore Community Center, 301 N Broadway, Moore
- Walmart, 501 SW 19th, Moore
- Home Depot, 650 SW 19th, Moore
- Shawnee High School, 1001 N Kennedy, Shawnee
Investigators with the Oklahoma Attorney General's Office are investigating instances of price gouging and ask that anyone who experiences price gouging to contact the AG's Office immediately on the fraud hotline at (405) 521-2029. The practice is illegal. Also, the first scams typically seen following such tragic situations are charity fraud. Please stay alert and only donate to reputable charities.
Recipients of SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program commonly known as "food stamps") whose households were impacted by the storms and have lost their food benefit cards should contact their county Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) worker and request a lost food replacement. Persons needing food assistance can apply for SNAP at their local county OKDHS office.
Persons receiving state benefits, foster care reimbursement, adoption assistance, or child support on the “Oklahoma Master Card” debit card who have lost their card due to the storms may request a replacement card by calling 1-888-401-9843. If their home has been completely destroyed and they have no way of receiving a replacement card in the mail, recipients can request the replacement card be sent to them care of their local county OKDHS office.
Anyone needing help with OKDHS services may call the Director’s Helpline at (405) 521-2779 or 1-877-751-2972.
An estimated 603 individuals are in shelters throughout the affected areas. The following shelters remain open:
- St. Andrew's United Methodist Church - 2727 SW 119, Oklahoma City
- Moore Community Center - 201 S Howard, Moore
- Shawnee High School Athletic Center - 1001 N Kennedy, Shawnee
- St. Gregory’s University - 1900 W MacArthur St., Shawnee
- Oklahoma Baptist University, 500 W University St., Shawnee
- Oklahoma Christian University, 2501 E Memorial Rd., Edmond
- The University of Oklahoma Housing & Food Services, Norman*
*The University of Oklahoma is working with the American Red Cross to transition guests to longer-term arrangements. As of today, the American Red Cross is in charge of working with shelter guests. Any inquiries need to be sent to the American Red Cross at 405-228-9500.
The American Red Cross encourages the use of their website, www.safeandwell.org, which is designed to help family and friends reunite.
Oklahoma Corporation Commission reports approximately 4,300 outages related to the storms.
Total - 4,324
Moore - 4,225
South OKC - 99
Oklahoma Electric Cooperative
Total - 11
Moore - 10
South OKC - 1
OG&E expects to have power restored by Sunday, May 26, to customers able to accept electric service in the affected areas. Customers in the Moore, Norman and the south Oklahoma City area may experience temporary outages during the next several days as the company works to replace temporary repairs with permanent ones.
Any OG&E customer still without power Sunday evening is urged to call 272-9595 to report their outage; even those that previously reported their outage are asked to call. Customers without power also are urged to inspect their electric meter base, where power is delivered to their home or place of business. In some cases, damage to private property is the reason for a power outage. In such a case, repairs by a certified electrician may be required before power can be restored.
Temporary OG&E customer-walk-up centers in storm-damaged neighborhoods will remain open as needed to address customer questions and concerns. Centers are located at First Baptist Church of Moore at 301 NE 27th and the Walmart at 501 SW 19th.
Found animals are being taken to the following sites:
- Oklahoma City Animal Shelter, SE 29th and Bryant
- Moore Animal Shelter, 3900 S Interstate 35 Service Road
- City of Norman Animal Shelter, 615 E Robinson
- Animal Resource Center, 7949 S Interstate 35 Service Road, Oklahoma City
Pet owners searching for lost pets are encouraged to check okclostpets.com and the Facebook page for the McClain County Animal Response Team.
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.