October 28, 2020 Situation Update 2
Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security
Situation Update 2
October 28, 2020 4:30 p.m.
STATE EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER REMAINS ACTIVATED
Due to the hazardous weather conditions, the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) remains activated. A winter storm warning remains in effect for the Oklahoma panhandle, while part of northwest Oklahoma is under an ice storm warning and numerous counties in northwest and northeast Oklahoma are under a flood watch. The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (ODEMHS) is in contact with emergency managers across the state and coordinating with agencies and organizations including the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Oklahoma Department of Transportation, Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, Oklahoma State Department of Education, Oklahoma National Guard, Oklahoma Corporation Commission, Oklahoma Insurance Department, National Weather Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, American Red Cross and other Oklahoma Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster.
Emergency Managers in central, northwest, north central, and southwest Oklahoma report downed power lines and trees as well as widespread power outages. Many roadways are blocked due to downed power lines or large limbs.
Officials ask residents not to call 9-1-1 for downed power lines or limbs unless there is a fire. Contact your electric provider to report downed power lines.
STATE OF EMERGENCY
A State of Emergency remains in effect 47 Oklahoma counties: Alfalfa, Beaver, Beckham, Blaine, Caddo, Canadian, Cimarron, Cleveland, Comanche, Cotton, Creek, Custer, Dewey, Ellis, Garfield, Garvin, Grady, Grant, Greer, Harmon, Harper, Jackson, Jefferson, Kay, Kingfisher, Kiowa, Lincoln, Logan, Major, McClain, Noble, Okfuskee, Oklahoma, Osage, Pawnee, Payne, Pottawatomie, Roger Mills, Seminole, Stephens, Texas, Tillman, Tulsa, Washington, Washita, Woods and Woodward.
The Executive Order temporarily suspends requirements for size and weights permits of oversized vehicles transporting materials and supplies used for emergency relief and power restoration.
According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, 12 injuries have been reported by area hospitals:
- 1 Cut or pierced
- 6 Fall
- 2 Poisoning (carbon monoxide)
- 3 Transportation Related
SHELTERS AND WARMING STATIONS
One locally managed overnight shelter is open:
- Ebenezer Baptist Church, 3600 N Kelley Ave, Oklahoma City
One American Red Cross supported overnight shelter is open:
- El Reno Citizens Center, 401 S. Grand, El Reno
Two locally managed warming centers are open:
- Church of God, 304 Lake View Drive, Guthrie
- Hominy Public Library, 121 W Main St, Hominy
Three American Red Cross supported warming centers are open:
- Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens, Oklahoma City
- Blackwell First Baptist Church, 23 S 1st Street, Blackwell
- Geary Community Center, 129 NW 5th St, Geary
Additional shelters or warming stations may open this evening.
Southern Baptist Disaster Relief chainsaw teams are helping remove tree limbs from entrance points and roofs in Caddo, Canadian, and Grady counties. Request assistance at www.okdisasterhelp.org.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission reports approximately 388,794 outages statewide.
OG&E Total: 262,219
Oklahoma City: 157,189
El Reno: 8,824
Midwest City: 7,972
Del City: 3,218
Warr Acres: 1,388
Nichols Hills: 509
Nicoma Park: 490
Forest Park: 274
Bethel Acres: 203
Valley Brook: 113
Red Rock: 100
Woodlawn Park: 82
Deer Creek: 53
PSO Total: 33,535
Roger Mills: 13
COOPERATIVES (by county, no ETR’s)
CKenergy Electric Cooperative Total: 22,119
Roger Mills: 1
Oklahoma Electric Cooperative Total: 15,397
Central Electric Cooperative Total: 9,311
Cimarron Electric Cooperative Total: 8,204
Canadian Valley Electric Cooperative, Inc. Total: 6,029
Southwest Rural Electric Association, Inc. Total: 2,441
Indian Electric Cooperative, Inc. Total: 4,004
Northfork Electric Cooperative, Inc. Total: 1,920
Roger Mills: 992
Cotton Electric Cooperative, Inc. Total: 1,852
Northwestern Electric Cooperative, Inc. Total: 1,766
Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc. Total: 1,117
Kay Electric Cooperative Total: 700
Alfalfa Electric Cooperative, Inc. Total: 68
Choctaw Electric Cooperative, Inc.
MUNICIPAL ELECTRIC UTILITIES
While highway and interstate conditions steadily continue to improve in central and northwestern Oklahoma, evening commuters and travelers are reminded to check conditions and forecasts before heading out as conditions still can change rapidly while temperatures remain low. Plan extra time for travel when possible.
Oklahoma Department of Transportation crews will continue operations to treat roadways with salt and sand until this weather event fully clears the state. Crews continue to monitor conditions in the Panhandle where highways remain wet, and remaining slick spots in Woodward and Ellis counties in northwestern Oklahoma. In Dewey County, SH-47 remains wet with some isolated slick spots but is improving. Be alert to crews and equipment working in these areas.
In areas where ice accumulated from this winter storm, drivers should be alert to tree debris, falling ice and also downed power lines across highways. Crews continue to work with emergency responders to monitor and clear roadways as needed. Several highways in Caddo, Canadian, Comanche and Grady counties are closed due to downed power lines, and drivers are reminded to never drive over fallen lines. View www.okroads.org for a map of current closures.
Highways and interstates in central Oklahoma have improved conditions, and crews are monitoring for any refreezing issues.
During winter weather events, drivers should closely follow the forecast and check current road conditions on the interactive travel map at www.okroads.org or through the Drive Oklahoma smart phone app.
REMEMBER during snowy and icy conditions, motorists are asked to:
- Stay about 200 feet behind road clearing equipment; crews need room to maneuver and can engage plowing or spreading materials without notice.
- Allow extra space between vehicles to provide adequate distance for braking.
- Be aware of "black ice," which looks wet on the roadway but is a thin layer of ice.
- Be patient, plan trips ahead and allow extra time in reaching destinations.
To check CURRENT ROAD CONDITIONS in Oklahoma, call ODOT's ROAD CONDITIONS HOTLINE at 844-4OK-HWYS (844-465-4997) or go to www.okroads.org or follow ODOT on Twitter @OKDOT. For turnpike information, call the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority at 877-403-7623 or go to www.pikepass.com.
RESIDENTS ASKED TO REPORT DAMAGE
Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management is asking residents impacted by the recent storms to report physical damages to their homes or businesses at damage.ok.gov. Reporting damage helps local and state emergency managers better coordinate response and recovery efforts. Residents can report damage to homes, businesses or agriculture through the online survey.
FOOD SAFETY AFTER POWER LOSS
If power is out for less than two hours, then food in your refrigerator and freezer is safe to consume. If the power is out longer, then note that a half-full freezer will hold food safely for about 24 hours; a full freezer will hold food safely about 48 hours. Do not taste food to determine if it "tastes safe." Discard any perishable food that has been above 40 degrees for more than two hours. It is not a good idea to put food from the refrigerator and freezer outside. The outside temperature can vary hour by hour, and frozen food can thaw if exposed to the sun's rays, even if it is very cold. Take advantage of the cold temperatures by making ice. Fill buckets, empty milk cartons or cans with water and place them outside to freeze. Then put the homemade ice in your refrigerator, freezer or coolers. Food may be safely refrozen when power is returned if the food still has ice crystals or is at 40 degrees or below. You may have to evaluate each food item separately.
For more information on how to recover from a power emergency, visit this Web site: http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/poweroutage/needtoknow.asp
CHAIN SAW SAFETY
As Oklahomans begin to deal with the thousands of trees downed by the ice, many will be using chain saws to cut and remove limbs from trees, and not everyone will be experienced in handling chain saws safely. Be sure to choose the proper size of chain saw to match the job. Check to make certain the saw has safety features such as a brake, front and rear hand guards, stop switch, chain catcher and spark arrester. Don't forget to wear appropriate protective equipment, including a hard hat, safety glasses, hearing protectors, heavy work boots, and cut-resistant leg wear (chain saw chaps).
Cut at waist level or below to ensure you maintain secure control over the chain saw and take extra care in cutting trees or branches that are bent, twisted, hung up or caught. If the tree or branch is suddenly released, it may strike the person cutting them or a bystander. Most importantly, be sure to avoid contact with power lines. Finally, the Oklahoma State Department of Health reminds everyone to check daily on elderly friends, relatives and neighbors who live alone.
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 9-1-1 for emergencies.