February 7, 2021 Winter Weather Event Situation Update 5
Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
Situation Update 5
WINTER STORM IMPACTING STATE
Oklahoma State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) remains activated today. 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 National Guard, Oklahoma Corporation Commission, Oklahoma Insurance Department, Oklahoma Management and Enterprise Services, Oklahoma State Department of Education, National Weather Service, Oklahoma Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, and others.
STATE OF EMERGENCY
A State of Emergency remains in effect for all 77 counties. The Executive Order also temporarily suspends requirements for size and weights permits of oversized vehicles transporting materials and supplies used for emergency relief and power restoration. A second executive order in place suspends certain regulations for truck drivers transporting propane into the state.
Although the Southwest Power Pool Energy Emergency Alert Level has returned to Level 1, energy providers are continuing to ask Oklahomans to conserve energy to prevent further problems with the electric grid and natural gas infrastructure. Even tiny reductions in energy can make a big difference.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission reminds Oklahomans to do the following:
- Lower thermostats to 68 degrees
- Avoid using high-energy appliances like washers, dryers, and dishwashers
- Unplug unused small appliances; these draw electricity even when turned off
- Turn off unnecessary lights
According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, 421 injuries have been reported by area hospitals since Sunday, February 14.
- 19 cut or pierce
- 307 slip or fall
- 9 poisoning
- 17 struck by or against
- 42 transportation related
- 27 other
SHELTERS AND WARMING STATIONS
16 shelters are open for overnight stays:
- Rose Stone Inn, 120 S. 3rd Street, Ponca City
- Neighborhood Hope Dealers/Hope House, 1916 E Perkins, Guthrie
- Tulsa Day Center, 415 W Archer St, Tulsa (full)
- Tahlequah Police Department, 100 Phoenix Ave, Tahlequah
- First United Methodist Church, 1615 OK-88, Claremore
- Cheyenne & Arapaho Community Center, 132 E Main, Geary
- Cheyenne & Arapaho Community Center, 207 W Jefferson, Canton
- Cheyenne & Arapaho Community Center, 407 N Main, Seiling
- Cheyenne & Arapaho Community Center, 2015 Dog Patch Road, Clinton
- Salvation Army Facility, 200 E 9th St, Shawnee
- The Sapulpa Elks Lodge, 24 S Poplar St, Sapulpa
- Green Pastures Studio, 4300 N Post Rd, Oklahoma City
- New Hope Church, 2020 E Rockdale Rd, Miami
- Mission of Hope, 1804 S Perkins Rd, Stillwater
- Pivot Inc, 201 NE 50th St, Oklahoma City
- Tribe Gym Oklahoma City, 6710 N Classen Blvd, Oklahoma City
Seven warming stations are open during the day:
- Checotah Senior Activity Center, 611 N. Broadway Street, Checotah
- Red Andrews Municipal Gymnasium, 720 NW 8th Street, Oklahoma City
- Southside Baptist Church, 605 W 13th St, Atoka
- Serenity Funeral Home, 145 W Main St, Antlers
- United Church, 103 N Johnson Ave, Wagoner
- Crossroads Church, 32145 E County Road 1570, Pauls Valley
- Fair Baptist Church, 175775 N 2770 Rd, Duncan
More than 360 people stayed in shelters or warming centers yesterday.
*Note: Due to a reporting issue, many of these shelters and warming centers have been open for the past few days but were not included in this list.
No significant power outages to report.
WATER SYSTEM IMPACT
Emergency managers in 25 jurisdictions across the state have reported damage to water lines at water supply facilities.
Many residents may experience low water pressure or no water pressure until repairs can be made. Residents can help by using less water: Avoid using dishwashers or washing machines, take shorter showers instead of long showers or baths, let faucets drip to prevent pipes from bursting.
EXTREME COLD EXPOSURE SAFETY
With temperatures expected to remain below freezing in the coming days, the Oklahoma State Department of Health offers the following tips for extreme cold exposure safety.
Prolonged exposure to the cold can cause frostbite, hypothermia, or in extreme cases, death. Infants and the elderly are most susceptible to extreme cold. Frostbite occurs when the skin becomes cold enough to actually freeze. A loss of feeling and a white or pale appearance in extremities, such as fingers, toes, ear lobes, or the nose are symptoms of frostbite. Hypothermia (low body temperature) can occur during longer periods of exposure when the body temperature drops below 95 F. A person will become disoriented, confused, and shiver uncontrollably, eventually leading to drowsiness and apparent exhaustion. In severe cases, death is possible. The following tips can help decrease the risk of cold exposure:
- Wear layered clothing outdoors for better protection from the cold. Wear a cap to prevent rapid heat loss from an uncovered head. Cover exposed skin to prevent frostbite.
- While indoors, try to keep at least one room heated to 70 F. This is especially important for the elderly and small children to prevent hypothermia.
- Sleep warm with extra blankets, a warm cap, socks and layered clothing.
- Avoid fatigue and exhaustion during cold weather. Overexertion, such as shoveling snow or pushing a car, can strain your heart.
- Carry extra clothing, blankets and high energy snacks, such as cereal or candy bars in your car for protection if car stalls. Keep the gas tank near full to prevent icing. Don't travel alone.
- Check daily on elderly friends, relatives and neighbors who live alone.
- The elderly and very young should stay indoors as much as possible. Offer to shop for elderly friends and relatives. Just like in the summer with heat, it takes some time to get acclimated to cold weather.
While sunshine helped melt some of the snow received earlier this morning, the continued frigid temperatures are setting the stage for refreezing on highway and interstate lanes tonight. Icy conditions could quickly develop, and drivers are urged to use caution.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) reports they have responded to 214 non-injury collisions, 70 injury collisions, and 908 motorist assists since Sunday, February 14.
The Stranded Motorist Assistance Response Teams (SMART) will remain activated to assist stranded motorists through the next round of heavy snow. These teams of Oklahoma National Guard, OHP, ODOT and Oklahoma Turnpike Authority personnel are positioned strategically throughout the interstate system Sunday through Wednesday.
If travel is necessary during snowy and icy conditions, motorists are asked to:
- Stay at least 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 844-465-4997 or go to www.okroads.org. For turnpike information, call the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority at 877-403-7623 or go to www.pikepass.com.
LOCAL JURISDICTIONS ASK THE PUBLIC TO STAY OFF FROZEN PONDS AND LAKES
Officials continue to encourage individuals to stay off of frozen bodies of water. People should always consider iced over ponds and lakes dangerous. Parents are encouraged to talk to their children about the hazards of falling through frozen lakes and ponds. Dog owners should not throw sticks or balls on the ice.
PRICE GOUGING STATUTE IN EFFECT STATEWIDE
Attorney General Mike Hunter reminds Oklahomans looking to do business in the state that the price gouging statute is in effect statewide with the ongoing state of emergency due to the winter weather that continues to impact the state.
The price gouging statute prohibits an increase of more than 10 percent for the price of goods and services after a declared emergency. Additionally, the act allows the attorney general to pursue charges against individuals or businesses that engage in price gouging.
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.