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Situation Update 11

Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 2, 2007 – 9 a.m. Update #11

This morning the Oklahoma City metro area has already seen its twentieth consecutive day of rainfall. The low pressure system responsible for the record rainfall during the month of June is located near Oklahoma City this morning. Showers and thunderstorms are likely across central and eastern Oklahoma today and tonight. Excessive rainfall may lead to additional flash flooding.

A flash flood watch continues for all of central and eastern Oklahoma through early this evening. A small portion of south-central Oklahoma will remain under a flash flood watch through Tuesday morning. The low pressure system is forecast to move south of the state on Tuesday. This may lead to drier conditions by Tuesday afternoon and through Wednesday.

The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) continues to receive damage reports from counties, cities and towns impacted by storms and flooding. OEM remains in contact with emergency managers in the affected areas.

Injuries and Fatalities

On June 18, three people sustained minor injuries when their pickup washed down a creek in Pontotoc County. All three were rescued: two were treated at the scene; one was transported to a nearby hospital. No additional injuries reported.

Power Outages

No power outages reported at this time.

Shelters/Mass Feeding

The American Red Cross is operating shelters to help those displaced by flooding at the following locations:

Bartlesville – East Cross United Methodist Church on Madison Blvd. (The shelter was moved from Highland Park Baptist Church) – 10 stayed overnight

Dewey - Dewey High School Student Center – 13 stayed overnight

The Salvation Army is providing feeding services for shelters and responders in Bartlesville and Dewey.

Travel Conditions

Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) and Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) officials advise motorists to use caution as they drive on Oklahoma roadways. Though roads may remain open, motorists are encouraged to find alternate routes if the road appears flooded. Motorists should drive for the conditions by slowing down and avoiding driving into any high water situations.

ODOT reports Heartland Flyer passengers left out of Oklahoma City this morning traveling via bus, however Amtrak is expecting the train to operate for this evening's return leg. The return is expected at its normal time of 9:39 p.m. at Santa Fe Station in Oklahoma City. People are encouraged to call 1-800-USA-RAIL to check arrival and departure schedules, check passenger status or information prior to departure.

State Assistance

All 77 Oklahoma counties remain under a State of Emergency. The executive order issued by Gov. Brad Henry in May serves as a formal mechanism for local governments to seek reimbursement for recovery costs through the state’s public assistance program as conditions warrant.

Preliminary damage assessments (PDAs) for potential individual assistance begin today in Pottawatomie County. Joint teams representing OEM, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Small Business Administration will join Shawnee/Pottawatomie County Emergency Management officials in examining the damage to homes and businesses, primarily in Shawnee and Tecumseh. Residents and business owners who sustained uninsured or under-insured property damage are urged to report the damage information to their local emergency manager. Additional PDAs will be conducted in other areas of the state as damage reports are confirmed. OEM, FEMA and local officials continue to assess infrastructure damage caused by the flooding. The PDAs are needed to gauge whether damages meet the criteria to qualify for disaster assistance.

Oklahoma Military Department water trailers remain in Ralston to provide potable water to the Pawnee County community of 355. On Friday, a water main break left the town in need of water.

OEM and OHP are assisting with response efforts at the Bartlesville/Washington County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Bartlesville and at the City of Miami EOC.

A federal disaster declaration remains in effect for 17 Oklahoma counties to provide public assistance related to the severe storms, flooding and tornadoes that occurred in the state May 4-11. The 17 counties that qualified for public assistance are: Atoka, Beckham, Blaine, Caddo, Comanche, Dewey, Ellis, Greer, Kay, Kiowa, Lincoln, Noble, Nowata, Okfuskee, Pottawatomie, Roger Mills and Seminole.

Local Damage Reports

Bartlesville/Washington County Emergency Management officials estimate 2,500-3,000 residents have been displaced by flooding countywide since Friday. Shelters remain open in Dewey and Bartlesville. The Caney River is at 21.8 feet and is expected to crest at 22.8 feet later today. Flood stage is 13 feet. Numerous streets are closed due to high water including Adams and Tuxedo roads. Frank Phillips is the only road open connecting east and west Bartlesville. The public is urged to monitor local media for additional information and updates or they may contact the Reservoir Information Control Center at (918) 669-7512.

Miami Emergency Management reports they are planning for evacuations as water levels of the Neosho River continue to rise. The river is expected to crest at 27.5 ft Tuesday afternoon or evening. Flood stage is 15 feet. City officials are working with the American Red Cross and have identified shelter locations which will be opened if necessary.

Comanche County Emergency Management reports officials in Lawton and areas of the county where flooding occurred will be surveying damages to homes, businesses and the infrastructure. Residents of the Garden Village housing addition in Lawton were allowed to return to their homes late Friday.

Durant/Bryan County Emergency Management reports the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has revised the projection for Lake Texoma flooding. The lake is now expected to crest at 640 feet on Friday (July 6) or earlier if additional rainfall is received. Water goes over the spillway at 640 feet. Local officials remain concerned regarding the situation. Lake Texoma has only gone over the spillway twice; once in 1957 and once in 1990 and both times resulted in major flooding downstream. Local officials will continue to work with Corps of Engineer officials to ensure as much lead time as possible for warning. All boat ramps inside Texoma State Park are closed. The area has seen some vandalism of signs, barricades and cones. Park rangers have been instructed to issue citations to all individuals removing or tampering with traffic safety control devices. 


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