Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
Situation Update 6
May 13, 2015 - 5:45 p.m.
SEVERE WEATHER IMPACTS STATE
Due to the continued effects of severe weather across the state and risk for additional flooding through the week, the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) remains activated. OEM is in contact with emergency managers across the state and coordinating with numerous agencies and organizations including the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security, Oklahoma Department of Transportation, Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, Oklahoma Corporation Commission, Oklahoma National Guard, National Weather Service, Oklahoma Department of Human Services, Oklahoma Office of Geographic Information, Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, Oklahoma Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD), and Civil Air Patrol.
STATE OF EMERGENCY
Governor Mary Fallin signed an amendment today to add 32 counties to last week’s State of Emergency for a total of 44 counties. The counties now included in the declaration are: Adair, Alfalfa, Atoka, Blaine, Bryan, Caddo, Canadian, Carter, Cherokee, Choctaw, Cleveland, Coal, Cotton, Creek, Dewey, Garfield, Garvin, Grady, Grant, Haskell, Hughes, Jackson, Johnston, Latimer, Le Flore, Love, Major, McClain, McIntosh, Marshall, McCurtain, Murray, Muskogee, Okfuskee, Oklahoma, Okmulgee, Pittsburg, Pontotoc, Pottawatomie, Pushmataha, Seminole, Sequoyah, Stephens and Tillman.
On Thursday, officials with the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, Federal Emergency Management Agency and U.S. Small Business Administration will join local emergency managers in conducting damage assessments for potential federal disaster assistance in Cleveland, Grady and Oklahoma counties. The teams will work to determine the unmet financial needs of those whose homes and businesses sustained damage.
INJURIES AND FATALITIES
Oklahoma Office of the Chief Medical Examiner reports two fatalities are now attributed to the storms. A 43-year-old female in Oklahoma City was found dead in her cellar on May 7. An 81-year-old male was found dead near Tupelo in Coal County on May 10.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health reports 40 storm-related injuries have been treated by Oklahoma hospitals since last Wednesday.
SHELTERS AND MASS CARE
Two Multi-Agency Resource Centers are open at the following locations. Residents impacted by the disaster are urged to visit one of the centers to talk to voluntary agencies that may have disaster aid available.
- Bridge Creek Upper Elementary School, 2209 E Sooner Rd in Blanchard
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2440 SW 55th St in Oklahoma City
The Resource Centers will be open through Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
American Red Cross reports a shelter remains open at Santa María Virgen Episcopal Church at 5500 S. Western Avenue in Oklahoma City. About 32 people stayed at the shelter overnight.
The Salvation Army is delivering clean up kits and disaster preparedness bags in southeast Oklahoma City to those affected by last week’s storms.
Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief has chainsaw teams assisting in Bridge Creek. Storm victims may request assistance by calling (405) 443-7583 or visiting www.okdisasterhelp.org. Since Wednesday, Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief has received requests from more than 200 homeowners for chain saw or debris needs and has served more than 12,000 meals.
City of Oklahoma City reports recent storms have caused flooding on Lake Stanley Draper and are restricting access to some areas. The lake is nearly one foot over capacity and high water has submerged trees and brush, causing underwater hazards. Boaters should use caution while operating watercraft near the shoreline.
Grady County Emergency Management is working to finalize a debris management plan for removal of storm debris. Additional information will be provided when available.
Amateur Radio operators are volunteering in Bridge Creek to assist with communications efforts. Operators have worked to support communication between Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief’s chain saw and debris teams. The communication support is especially useful since cell service in the area has often been unreliable due to the storms. The Amateur Radio volunteers are expected to continue to assist through the weekend.
Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, in coordination with the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, tasked the Oklahoma National Guard to deliver round bales of hay to flood-stranded cattle south of Bowlegs in Seminole County Tuesday.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation reports the following highways are affected by high water. Drivers are cautioned to heed all warning signs and not to drive around barricades or into water on roadways.
- Carter County - SH-77S is closed one mile south of the US-70 junction (near the west entrance to Lake Murray State Park.)
- Cherokee County - SH-80 is closed about 4 miles west of Hulbert between SH-51 and US-62.
- Choctaw County - U.S. 70 is closed near Unger between Boswell and Soper due to rising water over the roadway. Alternate routes are from Boswell south on SH-109 to US-271 or take Crystal Road north to SH-3 to Antlers.
- Johnston County - US-377/SH-99 is closed to through traffic just south of Tishomingo. Traffic is detoured on SH-1/SH-22 through Ravia and US-177/SH-199.
- Kiowa County - SH-54 is closed to through traffic between SH-9 and SH-19, south of Gotebo. This closure is expected to last through the remainder of the week.
- Leflore County - US-270 is closed just south of the junction with US-271 between Wister and Heavener due to flooding at Wister Lake. Signs are in place and traffic will be detoured to Poteau and Heavener.
- Marshall County - SH-199 is closed about 5 miles west of the SH-78 junction, near Little City.
Know before you go by checking current road conditions in Oklahoma. Call the Department of Public Safety's Road Conditions Hotline at 888-425-2385 or go to www.dps.state.ok.us. For turnpike information, call the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority at 877-403-7623 or go to www.pikepass.com.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission reports 217 power outages statewide.
OG&E – Total: 111 (Del City)
Cimarron Electric – Total: 32 (Seiling, Watonga areas)
Northwestern Electric – Total: 14 (Harper County, east of Willard)
Oklahoma Electric Cooperative – Total: 5 (Blanchard, Tuttle areas)
People’s Electric – Total 55 (Most East of Coalgate)
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE REQUESTING STORM REPORTS
The National Weather Service Norman Forecast Office is requesting storm and damage reports from anyone in their forecast area -- from Harper County in the northwest down to Bryan County in the southeast. Anyone with information or photos that can help record the events from May 6-10 is asked to please send that information to firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter or Facebook. Information requested includes any tornado, wind, hail or flood damage.
PRIVATE WELL TESTING
The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is offering free bacterial testing of private well water for those affected by the recent storms. The free testing will be available until June 15, 2015. Well owners may call 1-800-522-0206 for more information on eligibility for free testing as well as sampling instructions and supplies. Additional information is available at http://www.deq.state.ok.us/tornado/index.html.
HOW TO HELP
Oklahoma Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) offers the following tips:
When disaster strikes, the best way to support survivors of emergencies or disasters in Oklahoma remains donating financial contributions to reputable voluntary organizations. Cash donations allow nonprofit organizations to purchase what disaster survivors need. Buying supplies locally helps the economy recover by helping local businesses pay salaries and by keeping tax revenues in the community, generating funds that can be used to repair and strengthen public infrastructure and services.
Donations of used clothing and miscellaneous household items must be sorted, warehoused, transported and distributed, which diverts resources from agencies that are coordinating distribution of identified needs.
Regarding in-kind donations, always confirm what is needed before taking action. If you must donate in-kind goods, make certain that they are specifically requested and needed by recognized organizations. Remember that unsolicited donated goods require responding organizations to redirect valuable resources away from providing services.
STAY WEATHER AWARE
The American Red Cross Emergency App provides weather alerts and preparedness information in English and in Spanish. The app is available for iPhones, iPads and Android devices. Search “Red Cross Emergency” in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
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. Please only call 911 for emergencies.