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December 19, 2006 Winter Weather Event Situation Update 3

Situation Update

Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 28, 2006 -- Situation Update 3

Panhandle ice storm damage estimates approach one million dollar mark

Last week's ice storm that hit the Oklahoma Panhandle left nearly one million dollars in damage in Texas County, according to the latest cost estimates reported to the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM). Between Dec. 19 and 20 some areas received two inches of rain, one inch of ice and up to four inches of snow. Goodwell and Guymon were the hardest hit areas however, damage was also reported in Hardesty, Hooker, Optima, Texhoma and Tyrone.

A state-local damage assessment team documented $500,000 in damages in Texas County. The damage estimate covers expenses associated with removing roughly 50,000 cubic yards of downed trees and tree limbs. An estimated $200,000 in damage was found in the city of Guymon alone. The remaining $300,000 in damages was documented in other municipalities and the unincorporated areas of Texas County. The cities, towns and counties may qualify for the State Disaster Public Assistance Program which allows a jurisdiction up to $100,000 each calendar year for costs associated with disaster or emergency incidents. Last Thursday, Gov. Brad Henry issued an Executive Order declaring a State of Emergency for Texas County, a move that allows the affected cities, towns and counties to seek reimbursement through the State Emergency Fund.

Also, officials with Tri-County Electric Cooperative today revised their ice storm damage estimate to approximately $400,000. The increased amount is mainly due to the number of right-of-way crews needed to clear debris and the additional labor required for the repair of service drops, according to the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives. The figure also includes labor for mutual aid assistance crews that came to Tri-County's aid and expenses for local electricians who assisted with the repair of meter loops and service entrances to houses. Earlier estimates sited $175,000 to $250,000 in damages to the electric cooperative based in Hooker. At the height of the storm, about 7,000 homes and businesses were without electric service.

Additionally, another $47,000 in damage to the Panhandle Telephone Cooperative was reported by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. About 100 Panhandle Telephone customers in the Guymon area experienced service disruption during the storm.


Editors Note: This is the final Situation Update for this incident.

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