Situation Update 1
Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
Hurricane Ike – Situation Update 1
September 10, 2008 – 11:45 a.m.
Oklahoma Prepares to Assist Those Impacted by Hurricane Ike
State and local officials are working to assist those threatened by Hurricane Ike. The storm is forecast to be a major category 3 or 4 hurricane when it makes landfall Saturday along the Texas coast.
After consultation with Texas and FEMA officials, it appears the plan to transport evacuees out of state, including to Oklahoma, has been cancelled for today. Oklahoma remains on standby to receive evacuees both before and after Hurricane Ike makes landfall.
If Oklahoma receives evacuee transport from Texas, the evacuees would be housed at the shelter located in the former Lucent Technology Center, 7725 W. Reno in Oklahoma City. Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) officials are working directly with the City of Oklahoma City to support operation of the shelter and deliver necessary resources. The same facility was used last week to shelter about 1,800 Louisiana residents evacuated due to Hurricane Gustav.
Voluntary evacuations are underway in some counties along the Texas coastline. Additionally, Texas officials are evacuating those with special needs from many areas. Evacuees will first be transported to other Texas cities. Whether Oklahoma receives evacuee transport from Texas depends on the storm strength and path as well as the predicted storm surge.
As Texas residents self-evacuate to Oklahoma, they will be directed to contact 211 for information regarding assistance via signs posted by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT). OEM continues to work with FEMA and Texas officials to provide assistance.
Gov. Brad Henry has declared a state of emergency for Oklahoma. This paves the way for the state to receive federal disaster assistance to cover expenses should Oklahoma receive evacuees.
The center of Category 1 Ike is located about 430 miles southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River. Movement is toward the west, northwest at 8 mph. Maximum sustained winds are 90 mph and Ike could become a major hurricane tomorrow. Landfall is expected around 7 a.m. Saturday near Victoria, Texas.
Please Do Not Self-Deploy
Oklahomans are discouraged from self-deploying to the Texas coastal region where evacuations are already or soon will be underway. In most cases, access to the affected areas, requires proper credentials and travel documents. As Oklahoma receives requests for personnel, equipment and supplies, OEM will look to local county and municipal emergency managers to identify the needed resources. OEM will work through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), an interstate mutual aid agreement, to deploy resources to the affected areas.
How Can Oklahomans Help?
Monetary donations are best. A number of the disaster relief agencies Oklahoma always depends on in disaster times are already working to assist those affected by Ike. At the same time those same agencies continue to help those impacted by Hurricane Gustav. Oklahomans are urged to give to the disaster relief agency of their choice, to include the American Red Cross, The Salvation Army and other faith-based organizations. Go to www.okvoad.org for a list of disaster relief organizations.
Major County Emergency Management reports heavy, localized flooding in Fairview. Highway 60 north out of Fairview is closed. Numerous county roads also closed due to flooding.
Woods County Emergency Management reports highway 64 between Alva and Cherokee is closed. Numerous vehicles had to be pulled from flooded roadways early this morning. Highway 281 south of Alva is closed.
Woodward City/County Emergency Management reports the EOC is activated. Heavy flooding is reported in the southeast corner of the county and Highway 412 is closed.
Dewey County Emergency Management reports highway 60 near Vici is closed. West of Taloga, the Oakwood bridge is under 2 feet of water. Leady also reports flooding. Local officials are considering closing school around noon today due to road conditions which are exacerbated by previous flood damage.
Alfalfa County Emergency Management reports highway 45 is closed out of Helena. Highway 58 is also closed north of Helena. Two feet of water reported on some roadways. Flooding also reported in Cherokee and Driftwood.
Grant County Emergency Management reports numerous local roads are closed. Highway 11 west of Medford is closed and highway 132 north of Nash and south of Manchester is closed. Highway 81 north of Medford is also closed. One to four feet of water reported in some low lying areas.
Ellis County Emergency Management reports some local county roads in the southeast portion of the county are washed out.
Next Situation Update -- As necessary