Situation Update #8

Situation Update

Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:     Update #8 – May 17, 2010 – 6 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 remains in contact with emergency managers in the affected areas.

Weather Conditions

An isolated severe thunderstorm developed in northwest Oklahoma on Sunday and moved slowly southeast. Temperatures to the south of this storm were quite warm with dewpoints in the mid 60s. The resulting very unstable atmosphere supported a long-lived supercell which traveled from Major County to Pushmataha County. This storm produced widespread softball sized hail along its path with significant damage in Oklahoma City.

Severe weather is again possible on Wednesday with the potential for additional significant severe weather across Oklahoma. Residents are urged to monitor TV, radio, and NOAA Weather Radio for weather updates the next few days.

Local Reports from May 16 Hail Storm

Piedmont Emergency Management reports initial surveys show a primary area of damage north of 164th/Washington and east of Piedmont Road. About 100 homes sustained window damage ranging from one window to several windows. About 250 homes have roof damage. The only area that didn’t have visible damage was the extreme southwest part of the district, southwest of the intersection of Edmond and Frisco. Broken windows and siding were found in almost every area.  There are houses in the 220th/Richland area where windows are gone, guttering, roof, and some even have holes in their roof from hail. The worst of the damage then moves east along 220th then angles southeast from 220th and Piedmont Road toward 164th/Countyline.  Nearly every home in that area has damage. About 80 percent of the homes in the district are damaged, not counting vehicles, equipment, outbuildings.

Kingfisher/Kingfisher County Emergency Management reports significant damage to homes and outbuildings due to hailstorm producing stones ranging in size from golf ball to softball. Windows were broken out, skylights shattered, roofs damaged and vehicle windows shattered.

Oklahoma City Emergency Management reports several people sought 911-assistance for hail-related injuries as well as an unspecified number of similar medical self-referrals.

Power lines were downed across the city resulting in sporadic power outages. Numerous reports of structure and vehicle damages were also received.

State of Emergency

A State of Emergency continues for 56 Oklahoma counties hit hard by last week’s tornadoes and other severe weather. Gov. Brad Henry issued the executive order last Tuesday. It 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

May 10 Storm

Two fatalities are attributed to the May 10 storm.

A 55-year-old man was killed near SE 59th and Peebly Road in Oklahoma City.

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

The Oklahoma State Department of Health has updated their report on the number of injured who sought medical treatment at hospitals following the May 10 storm. 438 people were treated at hospitals. This includes 234 transported by ambulance and 204 self-transports. 81 people were hospitalized for a minimum of 24 hours. Currently, 4 remain hospitalized due to injuries sustained in the May 10 storm.

May 16 Storm

EMSA reports paramedics received 40 911-calls related to the hail storm in a one-hour period Sunday afternoon.  21 patients were transported to hospitals. Most patients were complaining of lacerations from shattered glass…either from their car or home windows. Several patients received cuts to their heads and bruises to their shoulders. Several patients called 911 suffering from anxiety due to the storm.  More than a dozen EMSA ambulances received damage from the hail.

Family Assistance Centers

The American Red Cross has opened family assistance centers to provide additional assistance for those affected by last week’s severe weather. After completing casework on individuals and families, the Red Cross will provide primary assistance and supplement assistance through partnership referrals to the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, St. Vincent-DePaul and other disaster relief agencies and faith based groups. From 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily the following centers are open:

Seminole State College-Haney Center, 2701 Boren Blvd.

Little Axe Community Center, 1000 168th Ave. NE, Norman

Harrah Church, 101 S. Dobbs.

Tecumseh City Hall, 114 N. Broadway

Prairie Creek Mobile Home Park, 12140 Southridge, Noble (Slaughterville)

Anyone unable to get to one of the locations may call 1-866-GET-INFO.

FEMA-OEM-SBA Damage Assessments Continue

Preliminary damage assessments (PDAs) for potential federal disaster assistance continue in the counties affected by last week’s severe storms. Specialists with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) have teamed with local emergency managers to conduct 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 power has been restored to all electric customers that can safely receive service.

Tarps Available

Beginning Tuesday the United Methodists will provide tarps to anyone in need due to storm damage. The tarps will be available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at New Hope United Methodist Church, 11600 N. Council Road in Oklahoma City.

Free Legal Advice

Cleveland County Bar Association members are providing free legal advice to storm victims today through Wednesday at Norman Public Library, 225 N. Webster. Storm victims may receive legal advice in person only between 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. No appointments are necessary, and victims do not need to bring anything with them unless they have a particular document they need to discuss.

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.

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.

Storm Response Efforts

OEM continues to coordinate recovery efforts around the state following the severe storms and tornadoes. The following is a list of response efforts of state departments and disaster relief agencies related to last week’s severe weather.

The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management – provided 24-hour coordination of all state response and recovery activities, as required.  The State Emergency Operations Center was operational 24 hours per day. Provided assistance to the local jurisdictions and provided OEM generators to shelters, water treatment plants and support of emergency communications.

The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety – provided 180 state troopers for security and traffic control in affected areas. DPS was required to close several highways due to accidents, and continued to provide personnel to staff the State EOC.  All special service units were called in to supplement road troopers within the state.  DPS responded to 103 traffic accidents, 45 involving injury.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation – provided personnel and equipment necessary to repair and or barricade transportation routes as well as man barricaded areas to prevent traffic flow throughout the entire State. Transported State owned generators to communities and shelters. Major highways, roads and bridges were cleared of debris, which assisted maintenance teams’ accessibility to critical infrastructure.

The Oklahoma Department of Human Services – conducted vulnerable client checks in seven affected counties and emergency placements of at risk personnel. Provided USDA commodities and assistance to support shelter feeding operations.

The Oklahoma Insurance Department – provided assistance to insure the enforcement of insurance laws for disaster victims. For guidance on filing claims and other insurance issues, contact the department’s consumer hotline (800) 522-0071

The Oklahoma Department of Health – in addition to general emergency coordination activities at the State EOC on Monday, OSDH provided tetanus vaccinations to citizens and responders at several sites in Pottawatomie and Cleveland counties.  The Oklahoma City County Health Department also provided tetanus vaccinations in Oklahoma County.  As part of these efforts, OSDH deployed one mobile response trailer to Pottawatomie County including support staff and an OSDH physician to provide needed medical assistance.  OCCHD deployed support staff and one Western Shelter in Oklahoma County.

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections – provided stand-by manpower for local debris removal operations as required.

The Oklahoma Military Department – provided commodity deliveries to shelters as well as provided and supported water trailers to shelters. Units and equipment were mobilized and placed on standby for emergency search and rescue operations. Additionally, the National Guard provided helicopter support to State and local government and response personnel to support search and damage assessment operations.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission – provided technical assistance and support for restoration of utilities throughout the entire State.

The Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation – provided emergency assistance to guests in the four State parks which were impacted by the storms. Cleared debris and conducted searches for unaccounted for guests and staff. Provided shelter for guests and emergency response workers.

The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality – provided technical assistance support for water and sewer operations. Supervised cleanup of contaminated areas and conducted emergency disposal site evaluation and registration.

Oklahoma Forestry Services – provided standby personnel and heavy equipment for debris removal as required.

Oklahoma Office of the Attorney General – provided information and assistance to the public about price gouging prohibitions.  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.

The Oklahoma Office of the Chief Medical Examiner – provided medical examiner coordination between the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management and the Governor’s Office about fatalities caused by the storms.

Oklahoma Civil Air Patrol – provided aerial damage assessment and photo documentation.

Oklahoma 211 – provided personnel and equipment to answer calls from concerned citizens about storm related damages and assistance providers. The call centers have processed thousands of requests for information and assistance.

The American Red Cross – provided immediate emergency needs to disaster victims throughout the affected areas of the state. Managed and supported shelters where 167 people stayed overnight. Served 34,211 meals and snacks to those impacted by the storms. Distributed 8,500 shovels, trash bags, pairs of gloves and other cleaning supplies to residents to assist with clean up. Mobilized 261 trained Red Cross workers.

The Salvation Army – provided immediate emergency needs to disaster victims throughout the state. Managed and supported permanent shelters for the homeless. The Salvation Army also supported American Red Cross shelters in many communities with blankets, bedding and food.  In addition, during disasters The Salvation Army housed as many disaster clients as possible.

Oklahoma Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters (OKVOAD) – provided emergency immediate needs to disaster victims. Kitchens were operational; chainsaw crews were activated to assist in private property debris removal.

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