STATE CONTINUES TO BE IMPACTED BY SEVERE FLOODING

Situation Update

Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:        June 14, 2010 – 5:45 p.m. – Situation Update 2

FOR MORE INFORMATION:         Michelann Ooten, Public Information Officer

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

STATE CONTINUES TO BE IMPACTED BY SEVERE FLOODING

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.

Weather Conditions

Widespread showers and thunderstorms are occurring from Tipton to Lawton to Wayne in southwest and south-central Oklahoma. This activity will continue to develop and move northeast during the evening hours. Storms will likely produce excessive rainfall with 1 to 2 inches per hour. The activity is expected to remain south of the Oklahoma City and Tulsa metros but will impact areas in southern Oklahoma. The rainfall should slowly shift south through the late evening hours into Tuesday.  Areas near and north of this boundary will be at the greatest risk for excessive rainfall.  A flash flood watch continues for much of southwest, central and eastern Oklahoma through Tuesday morning. Widespread reports of 6 to 8 inches of rain have been received since early Monday morning, with localized reports of more than 10 inches.

Injuries

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

Mass Care

The American Red Cross has opened an evacuee center for those displaced by the storm at Will Rogers Elementary School, 1215 E. 9th Street in Edmond.

State of Emergency

A State of Emergency is in place 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.

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.

Road Conditions

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) reports some Oklahoma City metro area highways and ramps remain closed due to high water conditions. Drivers are urged to be alert to continually changing conditions and are advised against driving into water on roadways. The following highways and ramps in Oklahoma County remain closed due to flooding: US-62 between Sooner Road and Air Depot Boulevard; US-62 between Henny Road and Choctaw Road; SH-66 between Westminster Boulevard and Anderson Road; and, the westbound I-40 on-ramp from Council Road.

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

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.

Power Outages

OG&E reports about 1,900 power outages related to the storm, including 1,100 in the Oklahoma City metro area.

Damage to State Buildings

Damage is reported to numerous state buildings in the metro area. 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.

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

Today’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