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Situation Update

Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 6, 2007 – 4 p.m. Update #16

Showers and thunderstorms developed along a weak cold front yesterday afternoon. These storms moved southwest across central and northeast parts of the state. Tulsa and Oklahoma City both received excessive rainfall, with isolated flash flooding and strong winds. This activity dissipated over southwest Oklahoma during the evening hours.

Showers and thunderstorms are possible again today across parts of Oklahoma, with southern Oklahoma having the best chance for precipitation. Parts of Oklahoma may be rain free this weekend, except for the southeast region where rain chances will continue due to a weak low pressure system in Texas. By Monday, rain chances may return to the state. Temperatures should be near normal for this time of year, in the low 90s.

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 during yesterday’s thunderstorms, about 8,300 OG&E customers in the Oklahoma City area and about 3,000 PSO customers in the Tulsa area lost electric service. By mid-evening, power was returned to all OG&E customers. By midnight, all power had been restored to PSO customers.

There are no reported storm related power outages at this time. Electric and natural gas providers have voluntarily disconnected services in flooded areas.

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 -- 10 stayed overnight.

Miami – First Christian Church at 2424 N. Main – 54 stayed overnight.

Red Cross continues to provide 250 meals three times a day for those in the damage areas.

Beginning Monday, residents who sustained flood damage in Comanche and Stephens counties can apply for Red Cross assistance at the Great Plains Chapter of the American Red Cross at 401 Gore in Lawton.

Officials with Southern Baptist Men’s Disaster Relief are providing meals from their large feeding units in Miami at First Christian Church, 2424 N. Main and in Bartlesville at First Baptist Church, 405 S. Cherokee. An additional three feeding units from southeast areas of the state remain on standby to respond to the Lake Texoma area, if necessary. Officials with the Southern Baptist Men’s Disaster Relief are also organizing assistance for Miami and Bartlesville residents who need help with removal of flood debris from their homes. Residents may turn in their request for assistance at the organization’s feeding sites in Miami and Bartlesville.

The Salvation Army in Bartlesville continues to serve meals three times a day at 101 N. Bucy. Additionally, canteen crews are serving three hot meals, along with snacks, sandwiches and bottled water. Canteens will operate daily until further notice. Through July 5, Bartlesville Salvation Army personnel had served 1,511 meals, 1,656 drinks, and 1,053 snacks. They had also given out 45 clean-up kits and provided pastoral care to 158 persons. Since the beginning of the operation on June 30, volunteers have logged 584 hours.

State Assistance

Oklahoma awaits word on Gov. Brad Henry’s request to President Bush for a major disaster declaration. On July 5th the Governor made the request as a result of the severe storms and flooding that has occurred in many areas of the state since May 24. The request asks President Bush to approve federal disaster assistance for individuals in Comanche, Ottawa, Pottawatomie and Washington counties, where more than 800 homes have been damaged by flood waters since Memorial Day weekend. As additional damage assessments are completed more counties may be added to the request. If the request is approved, those who suffered damage would be eligible for assistance for housing repairs or temporary housing, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest loans for individuals and businesses to repair or replace damaged property, disaster unemployment assistance, and grants for serious needs and necessary disaster expenses not met by other programs. Assessment teams continue to survey infrastructure damages throughout the state. The Governor plans to ask for public assistance to be added to the request after a sufficient number of surveys are completed. In many cases, flood waters are preventing assessment teams from examining damage to roads, bridges and other infrastructure.

OEM is in the process of deploying two Oklahoma National Guard water trailers to Lenapah (pop. 298) in Nowata County. Emergency managers requested the drinking water because the water pumps they depend on in South Coffeyville are not working. Nowata County Emergency Management also requested law enforcement assistance to prevent thefts and break-ins in Lenapah. Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) is sending troopers to the area.

Oklahoma National Guard water trailers remain in South Coffeyville and Ralston where they are providing drinking water to the communities.

Oklahoma National Guard personnel completed their mission in Miami and were released from there at noon today.

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. Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) officials are also assisting in impacted areas around the state.

Damage Numbers

Initial damage assessments show 836 homes damaged by the flooding in Comanche, Ottawa, Pottawatomie and Washington counties. Of those, 240 homes were destroyed, 276 sustained major damage, 164 had minor damage and 156 were affected by the flooding. Another 43 multi-family properties, primarily apartments, also sustained damage; 13 were destroyed and 30 had major damage. Many businesses were also destroyed or sustained major damage.

Environmental Issues

DEQ continues to monitor the oil spill into the Verdigris River and flooding throughout the state. For Oklahomans who have oil-related damage from the spill that originated in Coffeyville, Kansas, the refinery has set up a toll free number, 1-800-958-5380. Additionally, DEQ encourages residents on private water wells who may be affected by flooding to disinfect those wells and have their water tested for bacteria. DEQ and the Tulsa City/County Health Department will waive fees associated with bacterial sampling for these individuals. To find out more about disinfecting private wells, sampling or flood questions, contact DEQ at 1-800-522-0206.

Animal Issues

Officials with Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps’ Animal Response Team continue to assist with displaced pet needs at the Miami Animal Shelter and at the temporary Washington County Animal Shelter opened at the Dewey Agriculture Center in Dewey.

Travel Conditions

ODOT reports Kansas Department of Transportation has closed the US-169 / US-166 junction in Coffeyville, Kansas. ODOT crews are detouring northbound US-169 traffic at Nowata onto US-60 west to Bartlesville then north onto US-75 toward Independence, Kansas. This closure is due to flooding conditions and damages in the Coffeyville area. Drivers should watch for message boards along US-169 in Nowata and Washington Counties and for Kansas detour directions across the state line. For Kansas road conditions call 866-511-5368.

Since storms began across Oklahoma, state maintenance crews have continually monitored low lying roadways in their respective areas with assistance from local law enforcement. Similar to snow and ice routines, crews have been rotating in shifts, around the clock in some locations, to monitor the progression of rising waters to then determine possible detour routes. As waters recede crews are inspecting the roads and bridges for damages and plan to make necessary repairs as quickly as possible. Currently, the biggest challenge to crews is drivers ignoring barricades and trying to drive on flood-damaged roads. Crews warn although a road may look clear, if barricades are in place, damages do exist but may not be fully visible to a motorist.

Local Reports

Bartlesville/Washington County Emergency Management reports flood waters continue to recede in Bartlesville and throughout Washington County. At 8 a.m. today the Caney River was at 14.8 feet. Flood stage is 13 feet. Most city roads are open however; some county roads remain closed until crews can check roadways and bridges for safe travel. Shelter and feeding services continue for those displaced by the flooding. Emergency management officials continue to operate a call center for individuals to report property damage. Residents may call (918) 331-2710 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day including this weekend. Beginning Monday, the City of Bartlesville is providing a special collection service for residential customers who were affected by the recent flood. This service is strictly for residential customers who suffered flood damage and will not include any commercial establishments. Items and materials will need to be placed in front of the property, behind the curb, (regardless of regular collection sites) from Monday through Friday next week. Any items that contain compressors must have the compressor removed before the city can collect that item. Additionally, hazardous or contaminated materials will not be collected, including human or animal waste, paint, batteries, tires, and chemicals. There will be no charge for this service. For more information, contact City of Bartlesville Public Works Division at (918) 338-4130. The Bartlesville Parks and Recreation Department will be increasing mosquito control efforts throughout the city with use of a second mosquito spray truck. In addition, Parks and Recreation staff will begin placing larvicide in ditches and low spots where water may not recede for several weeks. Larvicide is an insecticide that kills the mosquito larvae which helps in the control of adult mosquito population. For questions concerning the safety of buildings which were flooded, citizens can contact the City of Bartlesville Building Services Department at (918) 338-4240.

Durant/Bryan County Emergency Management reports there is a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms this afternoon for the area. Lake Texoma is at 639.77 inches, which is 3 feet below the top of the spillway. It is forecast to top the spillway later today, and crest on July 9th at 641.5 inches. The water is expected to continue over the spillway for approximately 10 to 14 days. The rate of rise on the lake has slowed due to the vastness of the area of coverage. There are NO issues of dam integrity, contrary to rumors. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers checks the dam on a 24-hour basis once the lake rises above 632 feet. There are some residents who live in the Sand Point II addition of Lake Texoma that are isolated due to high water over the roadway leading into the area. There is no water in any of the homes in this addition. Yesterday, West Bryan County firefighters went door to door informing residents that emergency personnel were there to help if the situation changed. The Newberry Creek addition of Lake Texoma, which is north of US-70, is experiencing high water issues as well. West Bryan County Fire Department officials are currently evaluating this area of the lake and will provide an update later in the day. Emergency Management officials are receiving reports of water in some homes here. They are working to confirm these reports. No shelters are open in Bryan County, however the Bryan County Chapter of the American Red Cross is standing by to open them should the need arise. All additional local support and first responder agencies are on standby as well.

Mayes County Emergency Management reports about a dozen homes sustained flood damage in the Disney and Salina areas.

Miami Emergency Management reports the Neosho River was at 24.17 feet at 1 p.m. today and is expected to be at 22 feet by Saturday. When the river goes below 24 feet water will recede out of many homes and businesses and off all roads, except SH-125 near Riverview and the Fairgrounds. The river is expected to recede below flood stage Sunday night. Residents can bring their flooded material and debris to the city transfer station free of charge this weekend from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. They can also place debris at curbside or dispose of at roll-off containers located in each of the city’s four quadrants. Tetanus shots are available today at the Ottawa County Health Department and during the weekend at Integris Hospital, in the lobby. More than 500 shots have been given. Shelter and feeding services continue for those displaced by the flooding.

Dial 2-1-1

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.

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