IMPACTS OF SEVERE FLOODING CONTINUE FOR STATE

Situation Update

Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:        June 15, 2010 – 11:45 a.m. – Situation Update 3

FOR MORE INFORMATION:         Michelann Ooten, Public Information Officer

(405) 521-2481 office; (405) 205-1879 cell

IMPACTS OF SEVERE FLOODING CONTINUE FOR STATE

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. There are no requests for state assistance at this time.

Fatalities and Injuries

The death of a 50-year-old Lawton man is attributed to the flooding, according to the Oklahoma Office of the State Medical Examiner. The death occurred Monday night in Lawton when the man was swept away by flood waters after his vehicle stalled in a flooded roadway.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reports 136 people sustained storm related injuries. None required hospitalization.

Mass Care

There are no shelters open at this time.

The American Red Cross is distributing cleanup kits that include bleach, mops, gloves and trash bags, to residents in the affected areas.

Damage Assessments

Once local jurisdictions have completed initial damage surveys, officials with OEM, the Federal Emergency Managment Agency and Small Business Administration will complete preliminary damage assessments for potential individual assistance in the areas impacted by the severe storms and flooding.

Power Outages

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission reports 4,175 power outages due to the storms. This includes 4,100 OG&E customers (4,000 in the Oklahoma City metro area) and 75 PSO customers.

State of Emergency

A State of Emergency remains for 59 Oklahoma counties hit hard by the flooding and other severe weather that began Sunday. The declaration provides a formal mechanism for local governments to seek reimbursement for recovery costs through the state’s disaster public assistance program should conditions warrant. The executive order also marks the first step toward seeking federal assistance should it be necessary. The counties included in the State of Emergency are: Alfalfa, Beaver, Beckham, Blaine, Caddo, Canadian, Carter, Cherokee, Cleveland, Comanche, Cotton, Craig, Creek, Custer, Delaware, Dewey, Garfield, Garvin, Grady, Grant, Greer, Harmon, Hughes, Jackson, Jefferson, Kay, Kingfisher, Kiowa, Lincoln, Logan, Major, McClain, McIntosh, Mayes, Murray, Muskogee, Noble, Nowata, Oklahoma, Okfuskee, Okmulgee, Osage, Ottawa, Pawnee, Payne, Pontotoc, Pottawatomie, Roger Mills, Rogers, Seminole, Stephens, Texas, Tillman, Tulsa, Wagoner, Washington, Washita, Woods and Woodward. More counties can be added as needed.

Weather Conditions

There is a slight chance of thunderstorms through Wednesday morning, with little to no impacts expected. Beyond Wednesday the state will see sunny skies with seasonable temperatures.

The National Weather Service reports a rainfall record of 7.62 inches was recorded at Will Rogers International Airport on Monday. The previous record for June 14 was 3.95 inches set in 1930. This also breaks the all-time record for any calendar day at Will Rogers Airport with the previous record of 7.53 inches set on Sept. 22, 1970.

Statewide 2 to 4 inches of rainfall was common with localized amounts of 11.47 inches in north Oklahoma City and 5.53 inches in Creek County. Regions of west central Oklahoma received less than .50 inches of rain, leaving those areas in a moderate drought.

Additional Flooding Concerns

Logan County-Guthrie Emergency Management reports flooding on the west side of the city, west of the viaduct. Cottonwood Creek crested this morning and is beginning to recede. OEM continues to work with the National Weather Service and local emergency managers in monitoring creeks, rivers and lakes across the impacted region for flooding concerns. In most areas, water levels are expected to crest during the next few days and then begin to slowly fall by the weekend.

Road Conditions

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation reports the following highways and ramps are closed due to conditions resulting from heavy rain. Drivers are urged to be alert to continually changing conditions and are advised against driving into water on roadways.

Road Closures:
Garfield County
-SH-132 two miles south of Drummond (downed power lines and poles)
Kay County
-US-177 between SH-11 and Braman
Lincoln County
-US-177 north of SH-66 near Wellston (at Deep Fork Creek)
-SH-18, four miles south of Chandler (at Deep Fork Creek)
Logan County
-SH-33 west of US-77 in Guthrie (at Cottonwood Creek)
Oklahoma County
-Westbound I-40 on-ramp from Council Rd.
Tulsa County
-SH-20 at Bird Creek east of Skiatook

Motorists are urged to obey road closing barricades. It only takes a minimal amount of moving water for cars to be swept away and there may be unseen damage to the road. Motorists who encounter flooded roads should turn around and find an alternate route. Flash floods are one of the chief causes of weather-related deaths in the nation.

For information regarding Oklahoma road conditions, call 888-425-2385.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol reports they received about 180 calls related to Monday’s flooding. Troopers worked 28 crashes, 6 involving injury.

Damage to State Buildings

The Oklahoma Department of Central Services reports damage to 19 buildings at the State Capitol Complex in Oklahoma City including the Oklahoma Department of Transportation’s Asphalt Design Lab, and the Will Rogers, Connors, Courts, Agriculture, Jim Thorpe and Sequoyah buildings. On Monday, state agency directors were allowed to close or reduce services if state offices were damaged to the point that regular business could not be conducted.

Price Gouging Statute in Effect

Oklahoma’s price gouging statute is in effect in the 59 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.

Avoid Illness and Injury in Floodwaters

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) urges Oklahomans to use caution when dealing with flood waters. Flood waters may contain snakes and insects; sharp objects and debris; and oil, gasoline, industrial waste or raw sewage.

To avoid illness and injury from floodwaters, OSDH suggests the following:

— Keep children and pets from playing in flood water.

— Clean all items touched by floodwaters, including children’s toys. Use one cup of household bleach in five gallons of water.

— Throw away items that cannot be washed such as mattresses, stuffed animals, baby toys, and wood cutting boards, as well as food that may have come into contact with flood waters.

— Wash hands often with soap and clean water or use an alcohol-based sanitizer.

— Seek immediate attention if you become injured or ill.

To protect your family and yourself, avoid floodwaters if possible.

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

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