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April 20 Situation Update 2

April 20, 2023 5 p.m.


As a result of severe weather that occurred on April 19 and weather-related damages across the state, the State Emergency Operations Center remains activated. The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (ODEMHS) is in contact with emergency managers in the affected areas and coordinating with agencies and organizations including the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Oklahoma Corporation Commission, Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma Department of Transportation, Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, Oklahoma Insurance Department, Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, National Weather Service, Oklahoma American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief and other Oklahoma Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster.


Governor Kevin Stitt today declared a State of Emergency for Cleveland, Lincoln, McClain, Oklahoma, and Pottawatomie counties due to severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and hail that began on April 19. 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. The declaration also marks a first step toward seeking federal assistance should it be necessary.


According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, three weather-related injuries have been reported by area hospitals.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner confirms two fatalities occurred in Cole as a result of the April 19 storms.

The McClain County Sheriff’s Office reports they have verified a third reported fatality was not from McClain County. The person is believed to have sustained fatal injuries from the storm but had been transported from an adjacent county.  


Though many areas of the state experienced severe weather, two areas received the greatest concentration of storm damages including Cole (McClain County) and Shawnee (Pottawatomie County).

Cole Tornado - A significant tornado impacted portions of McClain County. The town of Cole was directly impacted. Search and Rescue was conducted throughout the overnight hours. Numerous utility crews are working to restore power to the area. Approximately 50-100 homes are estimated to have some level of damage, however damage assessments are ongoing.

Agencies and entities assisting in Cole include: McClain County, Canadian County Task Force, OKC Fire Task, Tuttle Fire/Emergency Management, Dibble Fire, Lindsey EMS, Blanchard Fire/Emergency Management, Grady County Task Force, Chickasha Task Force, McClain/Grady Fire, McClain County Sheriff, McClain County Emergency Management, Purcell Fire, Lexington Fire, Payne Fire, Cole Fire, Goldsby Fire, Wayne Fire, Wadley’s EMS, Chickasaw Nation, McClain County District 3, McClain County District 2, New Castle Police Department, Blanchard Police Department, Blanchard Emergency Management, Blanchard Communications, McClain/Purcell Communications, Washington Fire, Byars Fire, Lindsey Fire, Rosedale Fire, American Red Cross, OEC, The Salvation Army, B&H Construction, Goldsby Church, ODEMHS, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, and Oklahoma Department of Transportation.

Shawnee Tornado - Additional widespread tornado and storm damage occurred in Shawnee including damage to two long-term care facilities where residents were evacuated, damage to a hospital, and damage to many buildings at a university complex. Search and rescue efforts continued through the night and into Thursday. Technical Rescue capable resources were dispatched due to reports of people trapped in a commercial business. Interstate 40 was closed both eastbound and westbound due to debris in the roadway. Electricity was reported to be out in a large portion of the north side of Shawnee. Oklahoma Task Force 1 (OK-TF1) is still assisting with ongoing search and rescue and damage assessments. Teams reported approximately 100 homes with some level of damage had been identified earlier today, however damage assessments are still ongoing.

Agencies and entities assisting in Shawnee include: Lincoln County Emergency Management/Fire Department Task Force, Road Districts, and Sheriff's Office, Oklahoma Task Force 1 (OK-TF1), Oklahoma Disaster Task Force, Choctaw Nation, Absentee Shawnee Nation, Chickasaw Nation, Muskogee Creek Nation, Sac and Fox Nation, Citizen Pottawatomie Nation, Kickapoo Tribe, Pottawatomie County, City of Shawnee, Oklahoma State Department of Health, ODEMHS, Oklahoma State Fire Marshal’s Office, American Red Cross, REACT EMS, EMSSTAT, and Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Damage assessments in all areas are ongoing, and a final tally of homes/businesses impacted is not yet available.


Three locally managed shelters remain open today with support from the American Red Cross:

·      Washington School, 101 East Kirby Avenue in Washington, OK
·      Noble High School, 4601 E. Etowah, Noble, OK
·      Shawnee Shelter, 1701 Gordon Cooper Drive, Shawnee, OK

The shelter in Washington had 10 overnight guests last night.

The Salvation Army provided breakfast on Thursday in Cole. They also provided their rapid response unit and an additional unit to Shawnee to support responders and residents impacted by the storm.

The Gordon Cooper Technology Center in Shawnee opened their cafeteria to feed residents impacted by the storm.

Oklahoma State Department of Health will be providing tetanus shots in the affected areas on April 21.


Oklahoma Corporation Commission reports 16,874 outages statewide. At the height of the storm on April 19 there were more than 34,000 outages reported.

OG&E Total: 14,958
Largest areas of outages
SHAWNEE - 10,930
MCLOUD - 1,797
MEEKER - 941
DALE - 133

PSO Total: 72
Largest areas of outages by county 
TULSA - 66

Canadian Valley Electric Cooperative Total: 1,240
Largest areas of outages by county 

Oklahoma Electric Cooperative Total: 498
Largest areas of outages by county 
McCLAIN - 249

Kiamichi Electric Cooperative Total: 106
Largest areas of outages by county  


The state’s price gouging statute is in effect for Cleveland, Lincoln, McClain, Oklahoma, and Pottawatomie counties. The Emergency Price Stabilization Act prohibits an increase of more than 10% for the price of goods and services after a declared emergency. The statute triggers automatically after the governor issues a state of emergency. The law allows the attorney general to pursue charges against individuals or businesses that engage in price gouging.  Attorney General Gentner Drummond warned that anyone who violates the Act is subject to facing legal consequences.  

For more information or to report a complaint, individuals can contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit toll free at (833) 681-1895. 


Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management continues to ask residents impacted by the recent storms to report damages to their property at 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.

DIAL 211

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.



Last Modified on Apr 20, 2023
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