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Statewide response to dangerous winter weather

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Posted at 9:07 AM, Feb 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-19 17:37:38-05

TULSA, Okla.  — According to the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (ODEMHS) remains in contact with emergency managers, agencies and organizations across the state.

STATE OF EMERGENCY

A State of Emergency is in effect for all 77 counties. The Executive Order also temporarily suspends requirements for size and weights permits of oversized vehicles transporting materials and supplies used for emergency relief and power restoration. A second executive order in place suspends certain regulations for truck drivers transporting propane into the state.

FEDERAL DISASTER DECLARATION APPROVED

Governor Kevin Stitt Thursday announced that President Joe Biden has approved his request to declare a federal disaster exists in all 77 Oklahoma counties due to the historic winter storm.

As requested by the governor, the federal government will provide reimbursement for emergency protective measures for mass care and sheltering as well as direct federal assistance to state and local agencies at 75% federal cost share. Direct Federal Assistance may include technical assistance for water system repairs or commodities for shelters.

STAY OFF FROZEN PONDS AND LAKES

Officials continue to encourage individuals to stay off of frozen bodies of water. People should always consider iced over ponds and lakes dangerous. Parents are encouraged to talk to their children about the hazards of falling through frozen lakes and ponds. Dog owners should not throw sticks or balls on the ice. Keep pets and livestock away from frozen bodies of water to prevent them from falling in.

DISASTER RELIEF AVAILABLE FOR OKLAHOMA RANCHERS

Additional resources for farmers, ranchers and communities are available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Livestock Indemnity Program, which provides assistance payments equal to 75% of average fair market value for livestock deaths in excess of normal mortality caused by adverse weather and unpreventable through good animal husbandry and management.

For 2021 livestock losses, you must file a notice within 30 calendar days of when the loss is first apparent. Additional information is available on the USDA website or by contacting the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry at 405.742.1130.

INJURIES

According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, 750 injuries have been reported by area hospitals since Sunday, February 14.

  • 36 cut or pierce
  • 538 slip or fall
  • 13 poisoning
  • 31 struck by or against
  • 73 transportation related
  • 59 other

SHELTERS AND WARMING STATIONS

Twelve shelters are open for overnight stays:

  • Neighborhood Hope Dealers/Hope House, 1916 E Perkins, Guthrie
  • Tulsa Day Center, 415 W Archer St, Tulsa (full)
  • Tahlequah Police Department, 100 Phoenix Ave, Tahlequah
  • Cheyenne & Arapaho Community Center, 132 E Main, Geary
  • Cheyenne & Arapaho Community Center, 207 W Jefferson, Canton
  • Cheyenne & Arapaho Community Center, 407 N Main, Seiling
  • Cheyenne & Arapaho Community Center, 2015 Dog Patch Road, Clinton
  • Salvation Army Facility, 200 E 9th St, Shawnee
  • New Hope Church, 2020 E Rockdale Rd, Miami
  • Mission of Hope, 1804 S Perkins Rd, Stillwater
  • Pivot Inc, 201 NE 50th St, Oklahoma City
  • First Christian Church, 2602 S Elm Pl, Broken Arrow

Three warming centers are open during the day:

  • Checotah Senior Activity Center, 611 N. Broadway Street, Checotah
  • Red Andrews Municipal Gymnasium, 720 NW 8th Street, Oklahoma City
  • Central Park Community Center, 1500 S Main St, Broken Arrow

More than 200 people used the shelters and warming centers yesterday.

WATER SYSTEM IMPACTS

Damages to water systems continue to be a concern for many cities and counties. More than 120 public water systems have been impacted by the winter storm.

Many areas may experience low water pressure or no water pressure until repairs can be made. Residents can help using water wisely and protecting water lines:

  • Leave cabinet doors open to allow warm air to circulate
  • With temperatures rising, only drip indoor faucets that are on exterior walls
  • Know where your water shutoff is in case of emergency and promptly fix leaks
  • Take shorter showers
  • Avoid using appliances like washers and dishwashers that have high water usage
  • Turn off water while brushing teeth
  • Make sure sprinklers and other automatic water features are off

The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality recommends if someone has extremely low water pressure or total water loss, it is important that they notify their water service provider as quickly as possible and follow these recommendations:

  • Once the water comes back on, flush the water for five minutes or until fresh, clear water comes out of the tap.
  • Boil the water at a hard, rolling boil for at least one minute before consumption, drinking, use in food preparation (including baby formula), brushing teeth, making ice, wound care, and bathing infants who may ingest the water, or use another drinking water source such as bottled water until the tap water is safe to drink again.
  • It is recommended to continue boiling the water (or use bottled water) for at least 72 hours or until your water system says the water is safe to drink again, whichever comes later.

ROAD CONDITIONS

Major highway and interstate clearance operations remain wrapped up following earlier winter storms. However as temperatures continue to be below freezing across the state, Oklahoma Department of Transportation crews will be closely monitoring cleared areas during Friday morning's commute for potential areas of refreezing and will treat as needed. Some slick areas may develop overnight on wet roads.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) reports they responded to 214 non-injury collisions, 70 injury collisions, and 908 motorist assists from February 14-17.

To check CURRENT ROAD CONDITIONS in Oklahoma, call ODOT's ROAD CONDITIONS HOTLINE at 844-465-4997 or go to www.okroads.org. For turnpike information, call the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority at 877-403-7623 or go to www.pikepass.com.

PRICE GOUGING STATUTE IN EFFECT STATEWIDE

Attorney General Mike Hunter reminds Oklahomans looking to do business in the state that the price gouging statute is in effect statewide with the ongoing state of emergency due to the winter weather that continues to impact the state.

The price gouging statute prohibits an increase of more than 10 percent for the price of goods and services after a declared emergency. Additionally, the act allows the attorney general to pursue charges against individuals or businesses that engage in price gouging.

DIAL 211

For Oklahoma residents seeking non-emergency disaster or 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 9-1-1 for emergencies.

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