Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
WEEKS OF TORRENTIAL RAIN AND FLOODING IMPACT OKLAHOMA
State still awaiting word on last week’s disaster declaration request
As deadly rain and flooding continues across the state, the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) offers the following information for residents impacted by the storms.
The American Red Cross has opened shelters at Messiah Lutheran Church at 3600 Northwest Expressway in Oklahoma City, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 4401 E Maguire Road in Noble, at Edison Prep School at 2906 E 41st Street in Tulsa, at First United Methodist Church at 1401 E Taft Avenue in Sapulpa, at Comanche County Fairgrounds at 920 SW Sheridan Road in Lawton, and at First Baptist Church at 1340 S 13th Street in Kingfisher. The Red Cross is also supporting a shelter at Circle the Wagons Ministry at 604 E Broadway in Lexington.
Additional shelters may be opened throughout the day as more communities are impacted. If an evacuation is ordered or recommended for your area due to rising water, please take action and move to higher ground immediately. Those needing shelter or other assistance may call American Red Cross at 1-800-RED-CROSS.
Roads and bridges have been heavily impacted across the state. Motorists are cautioned to stay off damaged roads and avoid any flooded roads or moving water.
“After nearly three weeks of rain and flooding, roads that were still passable Friday are literally crumbling away today,” said OEM Director Albert Ashwood. “It is incredibly dangerous to drive or walk through flooded waters as we don’t know what may be underneath or whether a remaining road will hold up.”
Residents and business owners with flood insurance should first call their insurance adjuster to report flood damage and take photos of all damage, including water levels. National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) liaisons say property owners should wait to do any repairs until an adjuster is able to visit the structure. Owners may remove sheetrock and clean up mold, mud, and debris after they have taken photos. Owners may also remove carpet, but should save a section of the carpet to show the adjuster.
Additional rain is expected today through Monday and throughout the week. Flood damage and increased lake and waterway levels that began in early May have continued to deteriorate. In many areas, conditions are already dangerous.
“This is a holiday weekend and Oklahomans want to get out and observe their Memorial Day traditions, but we are asking everyone to please exercise extreme caution in doing so,” said Ashwood.
Oklahoma awaits word on Governor Mary Fallin’s request for a Federal Disaster Declaration for Individual Assistance for Cleveland, Grady and Oklahoma counties. Damage assessments for new flood damage to homes and businesses are ongoing. Meanwhile, damage assessments of roads and bridges began last week and will continue through next week or longer. Due to the widespread nature of the flooding, assessments may take additional time to complete.
Forty-four counties remain under a State of Emergency due to tornadoes, severe storms, straight-line winds, and flooding. Additional counties will be added based on ongoing damage assessments.