Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Situation Update 9
January 14, 2007 -- 9 a.m.
POWER OUTAGES CONTINUE FOR PARTS OF STATE
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. Numerous injuries are also reported, including those related to slips and falls and wrecks.
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.
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 worked with the ODOT and the Oklahoma Military Department to deliver generators to McAlester, Checotah and Calvin. The generators are needed to keep water treatment plants on-line due to power outages.
OSDH is warning Oklahomans who may seek alternative power or fuel sources such as generators, grills, camp stoves or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices that these should never be used inside a home, garage, or camper -- or even outside near an open window. The use of these alternative fuel or electricity sources can cause carbon monoxide to build up and poison people and animals inside. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas found in combustion fumes and can cause sudden illness and death.
OSDH also reports that power outages have affected the Grove community in northeastern Oklahoma where Integris Grove General Hospital and three area nursing homes are operating on generators. In Pittsburg County in southeastern Oklahoma, power failure in McAlester has forced the Pittsburg County Health Department to transfer all vaccines to the local hospital for safekeeping. The state's Metropolitan Medical Response System (MMRS), Regional Medical Response System (RMRS) and Medical Emergency Response Center (MERC) are activated. More than 3,500 Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps are on standby to assist if needed.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission reports statewide, about 93,012 electric customers are without power.
PSO reports 31,533 customers are without power throughout the state. Highest PSO outages are reported in McAlester, where 14,207 are without power, in Grove where 5,338 are without power and in Chouteau where 5,597 are without power. Other communities experiencing power outages are Atoka, Duncan, Lawton, Okmulgee, Tipton, Tulsa, Vinita and Wilburton.
OG&E reports 15,048 customers are without power. The largest OG&E outages are in Muskogee where 9,085 are without power and in Checotah, where 1,733 are without electricity. Other outages are reported in Boynton, Eufaula, Fort Gibson, Holdenville, Porum, Roff, Taft and Warner.
Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives reports 46,431 electric cooperative customers are without power. While structural damage to poles and structures has not been extensive, ice accumulations continue to develop, especially in eastern Oklahoma. Line crews from several cooperatives continue to report ice accumulations ranging from one-half to two inches in parts of eastern, northeastern and southeastern Oklahoma.
Below is a list of electric cooperatives, the location of their office and the number of power outages.
Canadian Valley Electric Cooperative (Seminole) - 2,000
Cookson Hills Electric Cooperative (Stigler) - 1,180
Cotton Electric Cooperative (Walters) - 50
East Central Oklahoma Electric Cooperative (Okmulgee) - 8,500
Kiamichi Electric Cooperative (Wilburton) - 3,000
Lake Region Electric Cooperative (Hulbert) - 7,200
Northeast Oklahoma Electric Cooperative (Vinita) - 21,000
Ozarks Electric Cooperative (Fayetteville, Ark.) - 400
People's Electric Cooperative (Ada) - 3,101
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission reports about 250 Canadian Valley Telephone customers are without service in the Canadian-Crowder area (Pittsburg County).
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. ODOT reports State Highway 63 in Pittsburg County between Kiowa and Haileyville is closed due to high water. State Highway 31 west of Haywood in Pittsburg County is closed and US-69 in McAlester is 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.
Shelters and Mass Care
American Red Cross is operating shelters in the following locations:
Checotah – Multi-purpose Building
Durant – Bryan County Community Center
Eufaula – Senior Citizen Center
Grove – Senior Citizen Center and Moose Lodge
Henryetta – Henryetta Community Center
Holdenville – Senior Citizen Center and Moose Lodge
Jay – Assembly of God
McAlester – First Baptist Church
Muskogee – Muskogee Recreation Center and Bacone College
Pryor – Grand Memorial Auditorium
Stigler – Twin Lakes Motel
Temple – City Hall
Tulsa – First Baptist Church
Warner – Fire Department
American Red Cross and local officials have also identified 46 additional sites where they will open shelters if weather conditions and power outages warrant.
The Salvation Army reports all permanent shelters remain open in Lawton, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Ardmore, Ada, Enid, Muskogee, Norman, Ponca City and Stillwater. They are serving meals at the shelters and providing meals to go. In Muskogee, the Salvation Army is providing blankets at the shelter at the Recreation Center. In many cities and towns, Salvation Army personnel are standing by to assist with shelters that may be necessary due to power outages. They are also assisting Woodward Police and the Woodward County Sheriff's Office with travelers' assistance needs.