Situation Update #4

Situation Update

Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:     Update #4 – May 11, 2010 – 7 p.m.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

Due to the tornadoes and severe storms, the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) remains at Level Two activation, which involves extended operating hours for key personnel. The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) remains in contact with emergency managers in the affected areas.

State of Emergency

Gov. Brad Henry today declared a state of emergency for 56 Oklahoma counties hit hard by the tornadoes and other severe weather. The declaration is 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 (Updated)

The number of official deaths related to the storm has been reduced to 2.

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 mother’s three children were erroneous reported as deceased. State Health Department officials have confirmed the children remain in critical condition at a metro hospital.

Injuries

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reports 104 were treated for storm related injuries at hospitals.

Norman Regional Hospital treated 70 storm related patients last night

Midwest City Regional treated 14 patients with minor injuries and 2 in critical condition

Integris Southwest Medical Center treated 7 patients with minor injuries

Oklahoma Heart South treated 1 patient

OU Presbyterian saw 5 patients including 2 in critical condition

OU Children’s Emergency Room treated 3 storm related patients

Shelters

The following shelters are open to assist those displaced by the storms.

Red Cross Operated shelters

First Baptist Church in Prague, 15th and Bluebell
Seminole State College, 2701 Boren Blvd.

Harrah Church, 101 S. Dobbs

Tecumseh City Hall, 114 N. Broadway

Seminole State College, 2701 Boren Blvd.

Crosspointe Church in Norman, 2601 24th Avenue
Cromwell Fire Department (Red Cross supported), 412 S. Shawnee

Tribal Operated shelters

Absentee Shawnee Tribe Resource Center, 1970 156th Avenue, Little Axe

Absentee Shawnee Tribe – Brendel Corner, Little Axe

Local Damage Reports

The following local damage reports were received at the State EOC. More comprehensive damage numbers will be available after joint damage assessments are completed by OEM and FEMA later this week.

103 homes destroyed

70 homes major damage

69 homes minor damage

43 businesses destroyed

13 barns destroyed/damaged

Weather Conditions

Severe thunderstorms are possible again tonight as moisture returns to the state.  A tornado watch is posted until 10 pm for west-central and southwest Oklahoma.  Additional thunderstorms are possible in northern Oklahoma during the overnight hours.  Severe thunderstorms are also possible Wednesday afternoon and evening as a cold front moves into the state. Thunderstorm chances remain through Saturday as the cold front lingers in the state.

Significant severe weather occurred across Oklahoma Monday afternoon and evening.  A change in the storm track across the United States set the stage for Monday’s tornadoes as a small but strong system moved just north of Oklahoma. This system helped bring very moist air northward from the Gulf of Mexico, situated east of a dry line. This feature is the mark between moist air to the east and dry air to the west.  Further adding to the ingredient list was very strong winds in the atmosphere. These winds turned from the southeast at the surface to westerly a few thousand feet up. All of these ingredients came together to produce numerous tornadoes across parts of Oklahoma. The hardest hit areas are north-central, central, east-central, south-central, and southeast Oklahoma. One storm moved from south of Norman to the Arkansas border with several reports of tornadoes and damage with this storm. Along with tornadoes, these storms also produced destructive hail up to 4.25 inches, which was measured in the Town of Cherokee.

Power Outages

Oklahoma Corporation Commission reports about 26,678 power outages remain due to the storms. This includes 8,589 OG&E customers (primarily in the Oklahoma City metro area) and 35 AEP/PSO customers. Additionally, this includes the following rural electric cooperative outages as reported by the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives.

Canadian Valley Electric Cooperative, Seminole: 12,500 – 15,000 outages; approximately 250 poles down.

Central Rural Electric Cooperative, Stillwater: Approximately 45 outages; no known pole losses.

Cookson Hills Electric Cooperative, Stigler: 1,170 outages most in Muskogee and Sequoyah counties; 15 poles down.

Cotton Electric Cooperative, Walters: 2 outages, both in Stephens County.

East Central Oklahoma Electric Cooperative, Okmulgee:  Approximately 250 outages. Most damage in the Okemah and Checotah areas. Approximately 40 poles down.

Indian Electric Cooperative, Cleveland:  303 outages, most near Red Rock and west of Fairfax; approximately 70 broken poles.

KAMO Power, Vinita: One substation out of service (Pierce), but local Cooperative (East Central) is back-feeding the area; a total of eight (8), 69-kV H-structures were destroyed in the storm.

Kay Electric Cooperative, Blackwell: 204 outages, mostly in Grant and Kay counties.

Oklahoma Electric Cooperative, Norman:  About 3,518 outages. Most outages in Cleveland and Oklahoma counties; 100 poles down.

People’s Electric Cooperative, Ada: 2 outages.

Red River Valley REA, Marietta: Less than 50 outages remain; 8 to 10 poles destroyed.

Rural Electric Cooperative, Lindsay: 10 outages, approximately 20 poles destroyed – all broken poles have now been replaced.

Road Conditions

Oklahoma Department of Transportation reports crews have worked quickly to clear all the roadways of downed power lines, tree limbs and debris as a result of the violent storms and tornadoes that swept across the state Monday afternoon and evening. SH-99 is the only road currently still impacted. In Seminole County SH-99 southbound ONLY is narrowed to one lane north of Seminole near the airport, northbound open. Additionally, the I-40 rest area north of Seminole is currently closed due to loss of electricity

Debris Removal Assistance

The Oklahoma Southern Baptist Men Chainsaw Gangs have activated and are ready 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.

Tetanus Vaccinations Available

The Oklahoma State Department of Health will open several field clinics in the Seminole and Tecumseh area on Wednesday. One tetanus clinic will open in Seminole at Grace Community Church at the corner of Cathey and Highland in the parking lot. The other location will be at the American Red Cross shelter at Tecumseh City Hall. Citizens are encouraged to update their tetanus vaccine.

Oklahoma City-County Health Department nurses will join Oklahoma City Fire Department Paramedics on Wednesday to provide tetanus vaccinations directly to residents and volunteers cleaning up rubble in tornado damaged areas. The nurses and paramedics will travel to affected neighborhoods to administer the tetanus shots.

OCCHD will also continue to offer tetanus shots at the volunteer staging area at the Oklahoma County Barn, 7501 S. Anderson Road near I-240.  The vaccinations will be available in the OCCHD tent at the staging area on Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tetanus shots are also available at OCCHD, 921 NE 23rd Street in Oklahoma City. The tetanus vaccinations are free of charge.

Tetanus shots are recommended for anyone who hasn’t had a tetanus booster within the last ten years.

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Next Situation Update — As necessary