Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
Situation Update 6
February 4, 2011 – 3:30 p.m.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Michelann Ooten, Public Information Officer
SEVERE WINTER STORM CONTINUES TO IMPACT STATE
The State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is at Level One activation. Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) staff has returned to regular hours while maintaining 24-hour contact with emergency managers in the areas still affected by the winter storm through the duty officer.
On Wednesday President Barack Obama approved, in part, Gov. Mary Fallin’s request for an emergency disaster 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.
The declaration does not cover the Governor’s request for state and local emergency response costs. However, once the actual response costs are compiled the state can request the declaration be amended to include further reimbursement.
Oklahoma remains under a State of Emergency, as declared by Gov. Fallin on Monday. 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 as conditions warrant.
Some government offices, schools and businesses remained closed today due hazardous road conditions.
FATALITIES AND INJURIES
Four fatalities are attributed to the winter storm, according to the Oklahoma Office of the State Medical Examiner and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.
A 20-year-old Moore woman died Tuesday following a sledding accident. Cause of death was multiple blunt force trauma to the head.
Three people died Thursday after the vehicle they were occupants in went off the Spring River Bridge on the Will Rogers Turnpike in far northeast Oklahoma. Five other occupants in the vehicle were injured in the crash.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol reports troopers worked 139 storm related crashes, including 10 involving injury since the storm began. OHP also responded to 462 motorist assist calls.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol reports Troopers also assisted the American Red Cross with three emergency blood transports in the Tulsa area.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health reports at total of 527 injuries related to the storm, including: 351 falls, 14 carbon monoxide poisonings, 85 transportation related accidents, 4 exposure cases, 57 cut/pierce injuries and 16 injuries involving a person struck by or against an object related to the storm.
Cold temperatures today will give way to a warming trend on Saturday and Sunday with temperatures in the 30s and 40s. Light snow is expected late Saturday into Sunday with accumulations mainly in southern Oklahoma of 2 to 3 inches. Another Arctic cold front will move through the state on Tuesday dropping high temperatures back below normal. Accumulating snow is possible late Tuesday into Wednesday with temperatures remaining cold through the end of the work week.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation reports with today’s new round of snow, travel is again discouraged across the state.
In southern areas of the state, conditions have significantly deteriorated. Along the Red River in southeastern Oklahoma as many as six inches of snow has fallen. In some counties two to three inch accumulations were reported, however this was still enough to reverse gains crews had been making to improve driving conditions.
Highways are narrowed throughout the state, including I-35 from south of the Oklahoma City metro area to the Texas state line. Of course, crews continue working to clear more than the one open lane in each direction.
Travel is strongly discouraged at this time. If travel is unavoidable, motorists are urged to:
• Check road conditions before getting out on the roads.
• Stay at least 200 feet behind road-clearing equipment; crews need room to maneuver and can engage plowing or spreading materials without notice.
For information regarding Oklahoma road conditions, call 888-425-2385 or go to www.dps.state.ok.us
For the latest conditions on Oklahoma Turnpikes, call 1-877-403-7623 or go to www.pikepass.com
For road conditions in neighboring states: Texas 800-452-9292, www.txdot.gov; Kansas 866-511-5368, www.511.ksdot.org; Arkansas 800-245-1672, www.arkansashighways.com; Colorado 303-639-1111, www.cotrip.org; New Mexico 800-432-4269, www.nmroads.com; and, Missouri 800-222-6400, www.modot.org
There are no shelters or warming stations open at this time.
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.
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.
Johnston County Emergency Management reports schools continue to be closed. Businesses are limited as no one has been out and moving. At this time no power problems. At the grocery store in Tishomingo inventory is very low as deliveries have not been arriving. Most people have stocked up however, they were hoping for deliveries today. Roadways continue to remain slick and hazardous throughout the county. At the hospital ONLY emergency transfers are being done. Roadways are too slick and hazardous to put not only the patient but the crew as well in danger for a non-emergency ride. Adjoining services are doing the same. Emergency calls remain minimal for EMS, police and fire.
Pushmataha County Emergency Management reports heavy snowfall with the roadways slick. Local schools are closed today.
Pottawatomie County Emergency Management reports all roads remain hazardous. More than five inches of new snow has made it at little easier to get traction on areas that were snow packed and icy. We continue to urge people to stay off the roads unless the trip is absolutely necessary.
Situation Updates are posted at www.oem.ok.gov
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Next Situation Update: As conditions warrant