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Situation Update 14

Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 4, 2007 –2:30 p.m. Update #14

Weather conditions remained quiet this afternoon for much of the state, with only isolated showers and thunderstorms confined to southeast Oklahoma. Isolated activity is possible the next few days across southeast Oklahoma has the prior weak low pressure system remains in Texas. In northern Oklahoma a weak cold front may approach the area on Thursday bringing a chance for isolated showers and thunderstorms.

No flash flood watches are posted for any part of Oklahoma this afternoon. While isolated showers and thunderstorms are possible the next few days, widespread flooding rainfall is not expected.

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.

Utility Outages

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission reports Oklahoma Natural Gas has turned off service to approximately 100 customers in Bartlesville and 269 customers in Miami due to flooding. The action was taken at the request of city officials.

Shelters/Mass Feeding

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

Bartlesville – East Cross United Methodist Church on Madison Boulevard (12 stayed overnight). Shelters in Dewey and Nowata are closed. Residents from those communities in need of shelter are directed to stay at the Bartlesville shelter.

Miami – First Christian Church at 2424 N. Main (23 stayed overnight) and First Baptist Church at First and A streets (18 stayed overnight).

The American Red Cross has served 655 meals in northeast Oklahoma communities since Monday.

Officials with Southern Baptist Men’s Disaster Relief have their large feeding unit in Miami to assist at the shelter opened at the First Christian Church.

The Salvation Army continues to provide feeding services for shelters in Bartlesville and Miami. In Bartlesville they also have a canteen roaming the neighborhoods and are serving meals at the Salvation Army office, 101 N. Bucy from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. More than 700 meals, 800 drinks and 528 snacks have been delivered along with emotional and spiritual care since the flooding began. Nearly 400 volunteer hours have been logged. Additionally, since Monday, 1,140 Salvation Army meals have been served to National Guard personnel and first responders assisting in the flood-damaged region.

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 due to changing weather conditions in Oklahoma and Texas, the Heartland Flyer may be unable to travel its scheduled route. If so, Amtrak will bus train passengers to each stop. The bus will depart from Oklahoma City at the regular time of 8:25 a.m. and return at its scheduled 9:39 p.m. To verify schedules, check passenger status or for information prior to departure, call 1-800-USA-RAIL.

Environmental Issues

The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) reports tomorrow EPA officials will begin sampling the Verdigris River and Lake Oologah to test for oil. The testing is needed due to Sunday’s oil spill at a refinery in Coffeeville, Kansas. EPA and DEQ officials continue to monitor the oil spill and any possible effects on Oklahoma’s water systems from an EPA mobile command post located at the Nowata Airport.

DEQ officials are responding to Miami after reports that the National Guard Armory has flooded. The armory contains batteries, solvents and other chemicals. DEQ officials are also responding to Alberta Creek in Bryan County due to threatened contamination from nearby storage tanks containing 20,000 gallons of gasoline. Alberta Creek feeds into Lake Texoma. Officials with DEQ, county emergency management and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are working to place sandbags in the affected area.

Animal Issues

Officials with Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps report their Animal Response Team is assisting at the Miami Animal Shelter. The team arrived in Miami with supplies, including 30 cages, leashes, liter, cleaning materials and maintenance items. They assisted with expansion of the shelter to handle an influx of animals displaced by the flooding. Currently, the shelter’s capacity is almost doubled allowing care for 45 dogs and cats – some rescued by local firefighters. The shelter will keep the animals until owners can take them back. Tomorrow, officials with the American Humane Association (AHA), a national animal rescue organization, will have volunteers in Miami along with the group’s tractor trailer rescue vehicle. From there, AHA volunteers may be sent to assist in other areas of the northeast, where decontamination of animals caught in contaminated flood waters may be necessary. One veterinary clinic in Miami is under water. The other three clinics have taken in additional pets.

In Bartlesville the Washington County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) shelter is under water. Members of the Animal Resources Disaster Response Team, a national rescue group, are assisting in the opening of a temporary animal shelter at the Dewey Agriculture Center in Dewey.

Dial 211

For Oklahoma residents seeking non-emergency disaster or health and human service information, please contact your local 2-1-1. Services are available 24 hours a day by dialing 2-1-1 from your home or cellular telephone in the following counties.

Northeastern Oklahoma: In Craig, Delaware, Mayes, Nowata, Ottawa and Washington counties dial 2-1-1 or 918-336-2255. In Adair, Cherokee, Creek, McIntosh, Muskogee, Okmulgee, Osage, Rogers, Sequoyah, Tulsa and Wagoner counties dial 2-1-1 or 918-836-4357. In Okfuskee County dial 918-836-4357.

Central Oklahoma: In Canadian, Cleveland, Grady, Kingfisher, Lincoln, Logan, McClain, Oklahoma and Pottawatomie counties dial 2-1-1 or 405-286-4057.

Southeastern Oklahoma: In Atoka, Bryan, Carter, Choctaw, Coal, Garvin, Haskell, Hughes, Jefferson, Johnston, Latimer, LeFlore, Love, Marshall, McCurtain, Murray, Pittsburg, Pontotoc, Pushmataha, Seminole and Stephens counties call 2-1-1 or 580-332-0558.

Southwest Oklahoma: In Beckham, Caddo, Comanche, Cotton, Greer, Harmon, Jackson, Kiowa, Tillman, and Washita counties call 2-1-1 or 580-355-7575.

Flooding Clean-up

American Red Cross and the Salvation Army have sent clean-up kits to assist residents in their clean up of flooded homes and businesses. The Southern Baptist Men’s Disaster Relief’s Mud-Out Units are standing by to assist residents as they return to flooded structures. When cleaning up following a flood, residents are reminded of the following:

Wear rubber boots, rubber gloves, and goggles during cleanup of the affected area

Remove and discard items that cannot be washed and disinfected (such as, mattresses, carpeting, carpet padding, rugs, upholstered furniture, cosmetics, stuffed animals, baby toys, pillows, foam-rubber items, books, wall coverings, and most paper products)

Remove and discard drywall and insulation that has been contaminated with sewage or flood waters

Thoroughly clean all hard surfaces (such as flooring, concrete, molding, wood and metal furniture, countertops, appliances, sinks, and other plumbing fixtures) with hot water and laundry or dish detergent

Help the drying process by using fans, air conditioning units, and dehumidifiers

After completing the cleanup, wash your hands with soap

Wash all clothes worn during the cleanup in hot water and detergent and wash them separately from uncontaminated clothes and linens

Wash clothes contaminated with flood or sewage water in hot water and detergent. It is recommended that a laundromat be used for washing large quantities of clothes and linens until the onsite waste-water system has been professionally inspected and serviced

Seek immediate medical attention if you become injured or ill.

State Assistance

Preliminary Damage Assessments (PDAs) for potential Individual Assistance continued today via an Oklahoma National Guard Blackhawk helicopter. Officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Small Business Administration joined OEM on the flight over flooded areas in the northeast, including Miami, Bartlesville and South Coffeyville. The state and federal officials were surveying the damage to homes and businesses, many of which remain under water. PDAs have already been completed in Pottawatomie and Comanche counties. Other PDAs will be conducted as additional damage reports are confirmed. OEM, FEMA and local officials also 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 National Guard personnel remain in Miami where they are providing perimeter security. Additionally, Oklahoma National Guard water trailers are providing drinking water for residents, especially those on well systems.

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.

OEM and OHP continue to assist with response, recovery 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 reports flood waters from the Caney River continue to slowly recede. The river is at 18.8 feet. Residents are reminded to keep children and pets out of the affected area until cleanup has been completed. The city has waived all flood damage inspections for re-occupation of single family residences only. All multi-family structures and commercial buildings require flood damage inspections however, there is no charge for those inspections. The 28 buffalo missing from a Dewey ranch have been located. Officials are working to capture and return them to their owner. In the meantime, they should be considered very dangerous and anyone who encounters them should call the Bartlesville Police Department immediately at (918) 338-4001. American Red Cross is operating shelters and the Salvation Army is feeding the displaced and first responders.

Durant/Bryan County Emergency Management reports the spillway at the Denison Dam on Lake Texoma is expected to overflow tomorrow. The overflow elevation on the spillway is 640 feet. According to the latest projections the lake will crest at 641.5 feet around July 9th and then begin to recede. Lake Texoma is expected to be over the spillway for a minimum of 10 days, provided there is no significant inflow into the lake. Emergency Management officials are warning residents along the Red River to move all livestock, equipment, and other necessary belongings to higher ground. Residents are also urged to have an initial evacuation plan, should conditions threaten homes in the area. At this time, officials expect a limited number of homes will be affected. This event appears at this time to be much less significant than when Lake Texoma went over the spillway in 1990. Then, the lake rose to 644.78 feet, almost 5 feet over the spillway, and caused major flooding downstream. This will be the third time in the history of Lake Texoma that the spillway has overflowed. The other occurred in 1957. On standby for shelter and evacuation purposes are officials with the Bryan County Chapter of the American Red Cross, Durant Public School Transportation Division, Bryan Baptist Disaster Relief Feeding Unit, Families Feeding, Bryan County OSU Extension Agency, and the U.S. Government ASCS Office in Durant. A shelter site has been designated and will be announced should the need for mass shelter arise.

Lake Texoma remains closed at this time.

Miami Emergency Management reports the Neosho River crested today around 1 a.m. It is currently at 29.5 feet. City officials are moving into a recovery phase and anticipate it will take numerous days for the water to recede from the hundreds of homes that remain flooded. American Red Cross continues to operate shelters and the Salvation Army is feeding the displaced and first responders. Steve Owens Boulevard remains flooded, cutting off east-west traffic in the center of the city of 13,074.


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