Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
Situation Update 1
January 26, 2009 – 10:30 a.m.
WINTER STORM IMPACTING STATE
Due to the severe winter weather, the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is at Level Two activation, which involves extended operating hours for key personnel. The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) is in contact with emergency managers in the affected areas.
The National Weather Service has posted an Ice Storm Warning for seven southeast Oklahoma counties, where ice accumulations of .50 to 1 inch are possible. Moderate impacts are expected to critical infrastructure, including power facilities in this area and travel is expected to be highly impacted. A Winter Storm Warning is posted north of a line from Ardmore to Muskogee to Stillwell and south of a line from Snyder to Ponca City. A mixture of sleet and freezing rain is expected in this area and ice accumulations of .50 inch are likely. Low impacts are expected to critical infrastructure, but travel will be highly impacted. Far western Oklahoma is under a Winter Weather Advisory. Only minor impacts from sleet are expected in this area.
Freezing drizzle is already reported in south Oklahoma City. Conditions will rapidly deteriorate throughout the day across the Oklahoma City metro area. Tulsa and other areas to the east will begin to see freezing drizzle in the next few hours. By tonight, the eastern two-thirds of the state will likely experience hazardous travel conditions. Some areas may experience power outages as well. Precipitation is likely to continue through at least noon Tuesday.
OEM is working with local, state, federal and tribal partners to establish a staging center through the Pittsburg County Emergency Operations Center in McAlester, which is centrally located to the areas expected to be most adversely impacted by the storm. Resources needed for shelter operations like bottled water, cots, blankets and food are being preposition through the Pittsburg County EOC.
Additionally, OEM is working with FEMA to secure delivery of industrial size generators that would be used for shelters and to provide power to water treatment facilities in the event of electric service disruptions.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation reports crews continue to closely monitor the precipitation and condition of the highways and interstates. Currently, with reports of snow falling in the Panhandle, crews are clearing snow-covered roadways in Cimarron County. Elsewhere, crews are treating bridges and roadways which are starting to get slick in the western and central parts of the state. Westbound I-40 in the Elk City area and I-35 in Murray County are reported as slick and hazardous. Drivers should be alert to rapidly changing conditions throughout the day and night and to drive cautiously and according to the conditions. ODOT crews will continue to work around the clock to treat affected areas to keep the highways and interstates clear.
McClain County Emergency Management reports ice is starting to form on roads. There have been several rollover accidents on Hwy 76, Hwy 39, and I-35.
Stephens County Emergency Management reports ice is accumulating on roads there.
Comanche County Emergency Management reports roads are icing and several accidents have been reported, no injuries.
Hobart Emergency Management reports roads are starting to glaze.
Cleveland County Emergency Management reports roads are becoming slick and crews are salting roads throughout the county.
Grady County Emergency Management reports roads are beginning to ice up, roads are slick.
Moore Emergency Management reports light freezing drizzle and three injury accidents.