Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Situation Update 5
January 13, 2007 -- 8 a.m.
ICE STORM BRINGS POWER OUTAGES
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.
Gov. Brad Henry's State of Emergency declaration for all 77 Oklahoma counties remains in effect. The declaration reiterates the availability of all state resources to Oklahoma cities, towns and counties. It also provides a formal mechanism for local governments to seek reimbursement for recovery costs through the state's disaster public assistance program should conditions warrant.
Two more rounds of precipitation are expected today and tonight across Oklahoma. Both will bring more freezing rain and sleet. Winter storm conditions are expected to continue through Sunday night. Temperatures will remain dangerously cold through Wednesday with temperatures at night in the single digits across a large portion of the state.
Statewide, about 24,000 homes are without power.
PSO reports about 16,000 without power due to sporadic outages in the southwest, southeast and northeast areas of the state. The largest outage is reported in the McAlester area where about 7,000 customers are without power. Approximately 700 customers in the Tipton area and 600 in the Duncan area are without power. Outages are also reported in Vinita, Chouteau, Grove, Okmulgee and Locust Grove. In Lawton, only four customers are without power.
About 2,600 electric cooperative customers are without power. Cotton Electric Cooperative reports 1,800 without power in Bray, Cache, Central High, Chattanooga, Corum, Duncan, Empire, Geronimo, Grandfield, Hulen, Indiahoma, Marlow, Medicine Park, Randlett and Sterling. Cotton Electric officials report ice accumulations between one-half and three-quarter of an inch on electric lines. They have called in additional crews to assist with power restoration efforts. Additionally, about 820 Rural Electric Cooperative customers in Garvin County are without power. These outages are mostly due to icy tree limbs hitting power lines.
OG&E reports about 5,700 without power. The largest outage is in Ardmore where 1,517 are without power. Other outages are in Muskogee, Lone Grove and Checotah.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) continues to discourage travel on the state's highways and interstates which are slick and hazardous in many areas. ODOT has crew members statewide and nearly 100,000 tons of sand and salt mixture on hand to clear snow and ice.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) has worked 125 weather-related crashes since Friday morning, mostly along the I-44 corridor. Troopers worked 88 non-injury, 36 injury and one fatality wreck. In addition to working crashes, OHP is providing motorist assists and weather and road condition reports. They are patrolling lightly traveled roads as well as major thoroughfares. All special service units have been called in to supplement road troopers.
While travel is discouraged, anyone who must travel is advised to call Oklahoma Department of Public Safety's statewide highway and interstate conditions number, 888-425-2385. For road conditions in neighboring states call: Texas, 888-425-2385; Kansas, 886-511-5368; Arkansas, 800-245-1672; and Missouri, 800-222-6400.
Shelters and Mass Care
Shelters are open in Fletcher at City Hall; in Sterling at the high school gym; and, in Lawton at the Centenary United Methodist Church, 704 SW D Ave. The permanent Salvation Army shelter in Lawton is at capacity. All floor space is taken. Additionally, a shelter for the homeless and transients is open in Woodward.
The State EOC is utilizing the 2-1-1 system as a resource for non-emergency disaster information services. 2-1-1 is the number to call for access to non-emergency health, human service, and disaster related information. Just dial "2-1-1" from any phone in 36 Oklahoma Counties (see the lists below where 2-1-1 is available). Phones are answered 24/7/365. If you are calling from a rotary dial telephone or large phone system, such as PBX, please access 2-1-1 services through the 10-digit telephone numbers listed below. If your county does not have 2-1-1 contact local emergency management officials or the American Red Cross for assistance.
Tulsa 2-1-1 Helpline (918-836-4357)
Creek, Okmulgee, Osage, Rogers, Tulsa, Wagoner
HeartLine 2-1-1, Central Oklahoma (405-286-4057)
Canadian, Cleveland, Grady, Kingfisher, Lincoln, Logan, McClain, Oklahoma, Pottawatomie
2-1-1 of Southeastern Oklahoma (580-332-0558)
Atoka, Bryan, Carter, Choctaw, Coal, Garvin, Haskell, Hughes, Jefferson, Johnston, Latimer, LeFlore, Love, Marshall, McCurtain, Murray, Pittsburg, Pontotoc, Pushmataha, Seminole, Stephens
For assistance in Comanche County, please call Helpline (580-355-7575) - note that 2-1-1 is not active in Comanche County at this time.
REPORTS FROM LOCAL JURISDICTIONS
McAlester Emergency Management reports a large portion of the city and surrounding towns are without power. PSO crews are working on lines. Communications is also a problem with loss of power to repeaters.
McIntosh County Emergency Management reports the county has received more than 1.75 inches of rain leaving 1 to 1.25 inches of ice in many areas. Power outages continue and most of the western end of the county is without power. Road blockages due to falling trees are increasing.
Woodward City/County Emergency Management reports conditions have deteriorated rapidly since early this morning in Beaver, Harper, Ellis and Woodward counties where half an inch of sleet and one-tenth inch of ice covers the ground. A shelter remains open in Woodward for homeless/transients. Travelers' assistance is set up at the Woodward Police Department and Woodward County Sheriff's Office with assistance from The Salvation Army.