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Situation Update

Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Situation Update 11

January 14, 2007 -- 4:30 p.m.


The State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) remains activated due to winter weather conditions that continue to impact areas of Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) is in contact with emergency managers in the affected areas and has received the following reports.

Injuries and Fatalities

Since the winter weather system first impacted the state Friday morning, 11 people have died in motor vehicle collisions, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. This includes the seven who died in the I-40 crash near Elk City this morning. Numerous injuries are also reported, including those related to slips and falls and wrecks.

State Assistance

Oklahoma awaits word on Gov. Brad Henry's request to Pres. George W. Bush for an emergency disaster declaration for all 77 Oklahoma counties. If approved, the declaration would deliver federal resources to include generators for public facilities and bottled water for open shelters in communities impacted by power outages. Gov. Henry made the request earlier today. The Governor's State of Emergency declaration for all 77 Oklahoma counties remains in effect.

In addition to OEM, the Oklahoma Military Department, Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT), Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH), Oklahoma Turnpike Authority, Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP), Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC), Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives (OAEC), OG&E, American Red Cross and The Salvation Army are represented in the State EOC.

OEM continues to work with ODOT and the Oklahoma Military Department to deliver generators to communities affected by power outages. In the last 24 hours, 17 generators have been delivered to Crowder, McAlester and Checotah for shelters and to Pittsburg County Rural Water District, McAlester, Checotah, Calvin, and Kiowa to keep water systems on-line.

Power Outages

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission reports statewide, about 111,845 electric customers are without power.

PSO reports 39,263 customers are without power throughout the state. Highest PSO outages are reported in McAlester, where 14,231 are without power, in Grove where 5,400 are without power and in Chouteau where 6,549 are without power. Other communities experiencing power outages are Atoka, Hugo, Lawton, Okmulgee, Tulsa, Vinita and Wilburton.

OG&E reports 19,442 customers are without power. The largest OG&E outages are in Muskogee where 9,741 are without power and in Checotah, where 2,245 are without electricity. Other outages are reported in Ada, Ardmore, Boynton, Calera, Durant, Eufaula, Fort Gibson, Holdenville, Okay, Oktaha, Porum, Roff, Sulphur, Taft, Tishomingo and Warner.

Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives reports 53,140 electric cooperative customers are without power as freezing rain in eastern Oklahoma continues to take a heavy toll on infrastructure. Outages are increasing rapidly east of I-35 and south of I-44 where ice accumulations up to four inches and increasing winds are reported. Additionally, OAEC reports more than 700 utility poles are down in the cooperative service. Below is a list of electric cooperatives, the location of their office and the number of power outages.

Canadian Valley (Seminole) - 1,980
Cookson Hills Electric Cooperative (Stigler) - 2,000
Cotton Electric Cooperative (Walters) - 800
East Central Oklahoma Electric Cooperative (Okmulgee) - 7,800
Kiamichi Electric Cooperative (Wilburton) - 4,000
Lake Region Electric Cooperative (Hulbert) - 7,800
Northeast Oklahoma Electric Cooperative (Vinita) - 21,000
Ozarks Electric Cooperative (Fayetteville, Ark.) - 3,188
People's Electric Cooperative (Ada) - 2,722
Southeastern Electric Cooperative (Durant) - 1,850

Road Conditions

Since the ice storm began Friday morning, OHP has worked more than 200 collisions across the state. Officials with ODOT and OHP continue to discourage travel on the state's highways and interstates which are slick and hazardous in most areas. They also warn of black ice along with downed power lines and tree limbs which are making for dangerous driving conditions. Motorists are asked to report any road blockage to local law enforcement or OHP. ODOT reports State Highway 63 in Pittsburg County between Kiowa and Haileyville remains closed due to high water. State Highway 31 west of Haywood in Pittsburg County is closed and US-69 in McAlester remains diverted to Business 69 due to downed power lines. Crews continue to plow and deliver salt and sand on highways and interstates statewide. For information regarding Oklahoma roads, call 888-425-2385. For road conditions in neighboring states call: Texas, 800-452-9292; Kansas, 886-511-5368; Arkansas, 800-245-1672; and Missouri, 800-222-6400.


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