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Situation Update

Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 6, 2008 – 8 p.m. – Situation Update 3

SEVERE WEATHER BRINGS DAMAGE, POWER OUTAGES TO OKLAHOMA

An unseasonably strong storm system moved into Oklahoma on Thursday and combined with seasonable heat and moisture to produce widespread severe weather. While conditions were favorable for tornadoes, there were no confirmed reports in Oklahoma. Damaging winds were the most common event from Thursday, whether from thunderstorms or south winds. The storm system has moved east of Oklahoma, with a return to summertime conditions expected over the weekend.

High winds also contributed to wildfires, including one in Gotebo that forced evacuation of the southwest town of 272. Two homes were destroyed and seven sustained minor damage. Another 50 homes have smoke damage. Barns and outbuildings were also destroyed due to the fire. Residents have returned to their homes. Fires were also reported in Custer and Jackson counties.

Injuries and Fatalities

One firefighter sustained minor injuries at the fire in Gotebo.

Power Outages

Statewide, about 13,900 homes and businesses are without electric service.

  • OG&E reports 2,454 customers without power, including 1,608 in north Oklahoma City.
  • The Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives (OAEC) reports about 7,500 electric cooperative customers, mainly in southwestern, western, and northwestern Oklahoma, remain without electric service.
  • PSO reports about 3,960 customers are without power, including 1,237 in Burns Flat, 779 in Thomas and 600 in the Tulsa area.

Road Conditions

  • In Cherokee County, SH-80 is closed between Hulbert and the Wildwood campgrounds due to high water.
  • In Kay County, US-77 at Fountain Road (located 1.5 miles south of Tonkawa) is closed due to flooding of the Salt Fork River.

Local Damage Reports

Beckham County

  • Elk City Emergency Management reports minor damage.

Jackson County

  • Altus Emergency Management reports power restored to about 40 percent of the city including the hospital. Salvation Army has set up a feeding station and a shelter/cooling center is set up at the Community Center, located on Falcon Road. Preliminary damage assessments show 179 homes were damaged by the storm. Of those, 2 homes were destroyed, 5 sustained major damage, 43 minor damage and 129 were affected. Additionally, 17 businesses were damaged, including two that were destroyed, four that had major damage, eight with minor damage and three that were affected.

Roger Mills County

  • Roger Mills Emergency Management reports damage to trees in Strong City and the Carpenter area. Additionally, damage reported to outbuildings and a barn in the Carpenter and Hammon areas. Winds of 70 to 100 mph reported in this area. Lightning reportedly sparked grass fires between Strong City and Moorewood.

Washita County

  • Burns Flat Emergency Management reports town remains without power. Anticipate electric service restoration on Saturday.
  • Sentinel Emergency Management reports power outages. Local businesses are running on generators.

State, Federal Assistance

Last night, Oklahoma secured a Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) related to the Gotebo fire. The FMAG, approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), provides assistance to fire departments, law enforcement and other agencies that responded to the Gotebo fire.

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