Situation Update #5

Situation Update

Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:     Update #5 – May 12, 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) has returned to 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.

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.

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.

Fatalities and Injuries

Two fatalities are attributed to the 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 for storm related injuries at hospitals.

Shelters

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

The American Red Cross reports 107 people stayed at shelters Tuesday night.

American 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

Damage Assessments

Preliminary damage assessments (PDAs) for potential federal disaster assistance are underway. Specialists with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) join 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. On Thursday, the teams will be in Oklahoma and Pottawatomie counties. The teams will be surveying damage in additional counties impacted by the storms as well.

PDAs for public assistance are also underway. FEMA and OEM specialists are working with local emergency managers to identify storm damage to roads, bridges, public buildings and other infrastructure as well as state and local costs associated with responding to the storms.

Weather Conditions

The threat of severe thunderstorms will end tonight as a cold front pushes into the state.  The cold front will stall across the state on Thursday with unseasonably cool conditions to the north of this boundary. South of the boundary, warm and moist air will prevail south of the boundary.  Rain is expected Thursday through Sunday along and north of the boundary.

Power Outages

Oklahoma Corporation Commission reports about 10,430 power outages remain due to the storms. This includes 5,046 OG&E customers (includes 2,000 in McLoud area). Additionally, this includes the following 5,384 rural electric cooperative outages as reported by the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives.

Canadian Valley Electric Cooperative, Seminole:  4,500 customers without power; approximately 250 poles down.

Indian Electric Cooperative, Cleveland:  45 customer outages, most near Red Rock and west of Fairfax;  approximately 75 broken poles.

Kay Electric Cooperative, Blackwell:  285 outages, mostly in Grant and Kay counties; at least 200 to 225 poles destroyed.

Oklahoma Electric Cooperative, Norman:  Approximately 554 outages remain. Most outages in Little Axe, Newalla, and East Moore areas; 160 poles destroyed so far.

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.

Tetanus Vaccinations Available

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) will continue to operate field clinics in the Seminole and Tecumseh area on Thursday. 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. Today, OSDH provided 123 tetanus shots at the same locations.

The Oklahoma City-County Health Department (OCCHD) will also continue to offer tetanus shots Thursday through Saturday at the Oklahoma County Barn, 7105 S. Anderson Road near I-240.  OCCHD nurses and Blue Cross Blue Shield Caring Vans will also travel into neighborhoods Thursday to provide vaccinations directly to residents and volunteers cleaning up rubble in tornado damaged areas.

The vaccinations will be available in the OCCHD tent at the volunteer staging area at the county barn on Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Saturday from 7 a.m. until 7 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 10 years.

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 highlights again the need for people to stay informed about their local weather. The National Weather Service (NWS) and OEM remind Oklahomans that a NOAA Weather All Hazards Radio can save lives during hazardous weather.

Investigation into the scope of the May 10 severe weather event continues. NWS is working with emergency managers to gather information. NWS welcomes pictures and video that can assist them in compiling the damage report. To submit items, email to sr-oun.spotter@noaa.gov

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