Situation Update #6

Situation Update

Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:     Update #6 – May 13, 2010 – 9 p.m.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

Michelann Ooten, Public Information Officer, office (405) 521-2481; mobile (405) 205-1879

The State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is at Level One activation. Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) staff has returned to regular hours while maintaining 24-hour contact with emergency managers in the affected areas through the duty officer.

Weather Conditions

Severe thunderstorms moved across the state during the overnight hours, leaving damage in northeastern and south central regions of the state. The National Weather Service has confirmed two tornadoes occurred Wednesday night in western Oklahoma and three tornadoes occurred in the northeast on Thursday morning. Two EF2 tornadoes occurred, one near Sapulpa and the other near Oneta.  An EF0 tornado also touched down in Tulsa. Elsewhere in the Tulsa metro area strait line winds topping 80 mph were reported. Straight line winds are also being blamed for damage in Tecumseh, Bethel Acres, Byng, Rush Springs, Lindsay and Clinton.

Showers will continue across parts of the state the next few days as a cold front remains stalled in southeast Oklahoma. Severe thunderstorms are not expected although rainfall amounts of 2 to 3 inches could occur in southeastern parts of the state.

Local Reports Related to May 12/May 13 Storm Damage

Broken Arrow Emergency Management reports 38 homes affected.
Craig County Emergency Management reports damage to homes and outbuildings.

Lindsay Emergency Management reports 39 businesses damaged, 1 destroyed, 10 major, 9 mobile homes damaged. The city maintenance building was also destroyed.

Okfuskee County Emergency Management reports damage to homes and outbuildings.

Okmulgee County Emergency Management reports one home destroyed and 10 houses with minor damage. Outbuildings damaged and trees, power lines down.

Claremore/Rogers County Emergency Management reports 4 homes destroyed, 3 homes with major damage and 30 with minor damage.

Shawnee/Pottawatomie County Emergency Management reports 9 homes sustained major damage, 5 sustained minor damage and 2 commercial buildings had minor damage.

Tecumseh Emergency Management reports damage to 20-25 homes in Bethel Acres and Tecumseh. Power polls down along Highway 102. Soil Conservation Building in Tecumseh is destroyed.

Tulsa Area Emergency Management Agency reports 6 homes destroyed and 106 homes with minor damage.

State of Emergency

A state of emergency continues for 56 Oklahoma counties hit hard by the May 10 tornadoes and other severe weather, per executive order issued by Gov. Brad Henry on Tuesday. The executive order marks the first step toward seeking federal assistance. The counties included in the state of emergency are: Alfalfa, Atoka, Beaver, Blaine, Bryan, Caddo, Canadian, Carter, Cleveland, Coal, Comanche, Cotton, Craig, Creek, Delaware, Dewey, Ellis, Garfield, Garvin, Grady, Grant, Harper, Haskell, Hughes, Jefferson, Johnston, Kay, Kingfisher, Kiowa, Lincoln, Logan, Love, Marshall, Mayes, McIntosh, McClain, Murray, Muskogee, Noble, Okfuskee, Oklahoma, Okmulgee, Osage, Ottawa, Pawnee, Payne, Pontotoc, Pottawatomie, Rogers, Seminole, Sequoyah, Stephens, Tillman, Tulsa, Washita and Woodward. More counties will be added as needed.

Fatalities and Injuries

Two fatalities are attributed to the May 10 storm.

A 41-year-old male was killed near SE 59th and Peebly Road in Oklahoma City.

A 27-year-old female was killed off Rock Creek Road near Norman.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reports 104 people were treated at hospitals for (May 10) storm related injuries.

Shelters

Wednesday night 95 people stayed at shelters. The following shelters remain open to assist those displaced by the storms.

— The American Red Cross continues to operate a shelter at Harrah Church, 101 S. Dobbs in Harrah.

— The Absentee Shawnee Tribe continues to operate shelters at the Resource Center, 1970 156th Avenue, and Brendel Corner, both in Little Axe.

Disaster Service Centers

Disaster Service Centers will open on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, St. Vincent-DePaul and other disaster relief agencies and faith based groups will be on-hand to provide resources and information to victims of this week’s tornadoes.

DSCs will open in Seminole at Seminole State College, 2701 Boren Blvd. and in Norman at Crosspointe Church, 2601 24th Avenue. Additional locations are being finalized.

FEMA-OEM-SBA Damage Assessments Continue

Preliminary damage assessments (PDAs) for potential federal disaster assistance continue in the affected counties. Specialists with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) are joining local emergency managers in conducting the PDAs for individual assistance. The teams work to determine the unmet financial needs of those whose homes and businesses sustained damage from the tornadoes and other severe weather.

Power Outages

Oklahoma Corporation Commission reports about 16,058 power outages remain due to the storms. This includes 2,260 OG&E customers and 6,716 PSO customers. Additionally, this includes the following 7,082 rural electric cooperative outages as reported by the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives.

Canadian Valley Electric Cooperative, Seminole: 1,500 customers without power; approximately 300 poles down.

Cotton Electric Cooperative, Walters:  All consumers who can safely receive electric service have had power restored as of Noon today (5/13/10).

East Central Oklahoma Electric Cooperative, Okmulgee:  5,000 customers out; 7 poles and 5 cross arms broken in last night’s storms.

Indian Electric Cooperative, Cleveland: Approximately 5 customers are without service. These outages are in the Fairfax area.

Kay Electric Cooperative, Blackwell: 140 outages, mostly in Grant and Kay counties; at least 200 to 225 poles destroyed.

Lake Region Electric Cooperative, Hulbert:  5 outages.

Northeast Oklahoma Electric Cooperative, Vinita:  Approximately 83 consumers are currently without service, mainly east of Pryor, north of Grove, and in the Jay areas. Some near Grand Lake, Ketchum and Langley.

Oklahoma Electric Cooperative, Norman:  Approximately 345 outages remain. Most outages in Little Axe, Newalla, and East Moore areas; 210 poles destroyed so far.

Ozarks Electric Cooperative, Stilwell:   All consumers who can safely receive electric service have had power restored as of Noon today (5/13/10).

OG&E continues to operate a walk-up center at Crosspointe Church, 24th Ave. SE & Hwy 9 in Norman, for customers affected by the May 10 tornadoes. Between noon and 8 p.m., customers may talk face-to-face with OG&E representatives to report outages or discuss issues related to OG&E’s response in the areas hardest hit by the storms.

Debris Removal Assistance

The Oklahoma Southern Baptist Men Chainsaw Gangs are available to assist families with debris removal. Their priority on assistance is elderly, handicapped, single mothers and special needs. To contact for assistance call one of the following numbers: (405) 443-7583; (405) 388-6912 and (405) 415-5261.

Use Care When Operating Generators, Chainsaws

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) reminds Oklahomans that carbon monoxide poisoning is a concern as residents without power use generators near homes. Never use a generator inside homes, garages, crawlspaces, sheds, or similar areas, even when using fans or opening doors and windows for ventilation. Deadly levels of carbon monoxide can quickly build up in these areas and can linger for hours, even after the generator has shut off.

Generators should be a sufficient distance from a home and anyone feeling dizzy around a generator should immediately get outside to fresh air. In addition, never connect the generator directly to the home’s electrical system due to the potential to back feed electricity, harming crews trying to restore power.

If you must use a chain saw, follow the instructions to be safe. Wear a hard hat, safety glasses, ear plugs, thick work gloves, chaps, and boots. Always hold the saw at waist level or below, and make sure that others remain far away. Take extra care in cutting “spring poles”: trees or branches that have gotten bent, twisted, hung up on, or caught under another object during a high wind.

Tetanus Vaccinations Available

Since Monday’s storm, teams of public health employees have been providing tetanus vaccinations at the Tecumseh City Hall, at Grace Community Church at the corner of Cathey and Highland in Tecumseh, and at the Pottawatomie County Health Department.  No appointments are necessary.

Tetanus shots are recommended for anyone who hasn’t had a tetanus booster within the last 10 years. Health department teams are also going door-to-door offering tetanus shots.

The Oklahoma City-County Health Department (OCCHD) continues to offer tetanus shots Friday through Saturday at Harrah Church, 101 S. Dobbs Road in Harrah and at the volunteer staging area at the Oklahoma County Barn, 7105 S. Anderson Road near I-240.  Hours for both will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Tetanus shots are also available at OCCHD, 921 NE 23rd Street in Oklahoma City every Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. The tetanus vaccinations are free of charge.

For more storm recovery information, visit the Coping After The Storm section of the OSDH website at www.Health.OK.gov.

DEQ Responds

Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) continues to assist communities impacted by the storms. Since Tuesday, DEQ staff has been contacting water and wastewater system operators to assess damages to their systems and assist in getting systems back on line. DEQ staff continues to collect samples from Lake Thunderbird to ensure no contamination from the marina has made it to the PWS intake. This will be done twice daily until they are sure the water is safe and contamination has been removed. DEQ staff met with the owner of the marina, state and federal officials to discuss cleanup plans for the marina and lake shores. DEQ’s laboratory is providing free sample analysis to water systems and individuals affected by the tornado. Emergency disposal site evaluation and registration forms are updated to assist local governments with debris staging areas and disposal options.

Information such as fact sheets are posted on DEQ’s website under the Tornado Information link on the home page at http://www.deq.state.ok.us/tornado_may_10_2010.htm

Price Gouging Statute in Effect

Oklahoma’s price gouging statute is in effect in the 56 counties covered by the State of Emergency. The price gouging statute prohibits an increase of more than 10 percent in the price of most goods and services when a State of Emergency has been declared. Anyone who suspects price gouging is urged to contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit at (405) 521-2029.

Dial 211

For Oklahoma residents seeking non-emergency 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.

Be Ready for the Next Storm with a NOAA Weather Radio

This week’s weather once again highlights the need for people to stay informed about their local weather. The National Weather Service and OEM remind Oklahomans that a NOAA All Hazards Weather Radio can save lives during severe weather.

###

Situation Updates are posted at www.oem.ok.gov

Follow us on Twitter.com @OKEM

Next Situation Update — As necessary