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December 19, 2006 Winter Weather Event Situation Update 1

Situation Update

Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 21, 2006 -- Situation Update 1

Winter storm delivers damage to panhandle

The State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) received the following damage reports related to the winter storm that moved through the Panhandle on Tuesday and Wednesday. EOC staff remains in contact with emergency managers in the affected areas.

Areas of the Panhandle received up to 2 inches of rain, followed by ice and snow causing downed power lines and trees in many areas. Hardest hit area is Texas County where local officials anticipate hefty debris removal costs. Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) officials are on-scene and have joined local officials to complete preliminary damage assessments (PDAs). These PDAs should be completed by Friday.

State of Emergency Issued for Texas County

Gov. Brad Henry today issued an Executive Order declaring a State of Emergency for Texas County.

Early reports show local expenses associated with debris removal may qualify for State Disaster Assistance. The declaration provides a formal mechanism for Texas County as well as the cities and towns within the county to seek reimbursement for recovery costs through the state's disaster public assistance program. There are no reports of significant damage to homes or businesses.

Power Outages

The Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives (OAEC) reports about 500 homes and businesses remain without electric service due to the storm. The majority of power outages are in Guymon and Goodwell due to ice accumulation on low-voltage individual service drops into houses. OAEC has implemented its mutual aid assistance program and crews from Alfalfa, Cimarron and Northwest electric cooperatives are on scene assisting Tri-County Electric Cooperative operations personnel and area electricians in the power restoration effort. OAEC anticipates service will be restored to most by Friday or Saturday at the latest.

Telephone Service

About 100 Panhandle Telephone customers in the Guymon area experienced service disruption however, 911 was not affected by the outage. Panhandle Telephone anticipates all or most of its services will be restored by Friday.

Reports From Local Jurisdictions

Texas County Emergency Management reports storm damage to power lines and trees. About 900 homes and businesses were without power at height of storm. The Texas County Commission has declared a State of Emergency due to response, recovery efforts related to the winter storm. Early estimates identify at least $300,000 in debris removal expenses in Guymon and unincorporated areas of the county.

Next situation update: As necessary.


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