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WATCH: Sen. Inhofe joins other Oklahoma officials for update on flooding impacts

Posted: 8:35 AM, May 29, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-29 13:00:06-04
Sen. Inhofe to discuss bill to fund border wall

TULSA — Sen. Jim Inhofe is in the Tulsa area on Wednesday to tour flooded areas around Tulsa and Sand Springs. Inhofe joined the daily media update in Tulsa to share federal disaster resources available to Oklahomans.

In the news conference, officials said the plan is to maintain a release of 275,000 cubic feet per second of water from Keystone Dam until late Thursday, at which point the plan is to slowly maintain the release. The hope is to drop the release to 150,000 by Saturday, officials said.

Emergency management officials stressed the need for residents near the river or behind levees to maintain vigilance, as possible evacuations may be necessary.

Bynum said that while there have been some encouraging signs when it comes to flooding in the area, there is still a long way to go until the Tulsa community is in a safe place.

Gov. Kevin Stitt also spoke at the news conference. "It’s been amazing to watch our first responders, our mayor. It’s been a tough couple weeks across Oklahoma,” Stitt said. The governor also said that President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have reached out to him, to make sure the state has the resources it needs.

The news conference can be viewed in the video player above.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW PDF OF INHOFE'S RESOURCES GUIDE

Read full emergency management update below:

TAEMA Emergency Operations Update – 11 a.m.

The Army Corps of Engineers said the release rate remains at 275,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) from Keystone Dam with the expectation to stay of continuing that rate through Thursday.

Residents should remain vigilant for potential voluntary evacuations. The City of Tulsa has been planning for historic flooding levels and the map showing a 305,000 cfs rate can be found at www.cityoftulsa.org/rivermaps [cityoftulsa.org].

Levee Management

Levees continue to perform as expected and any issues that have arisen have been mitigated. There have been no breaches.The Army National Guard is monitoring levees 24/7. Residents behind Levee A and B should be prepared for a voluntary evacuation and remain vigilant to this evolving situation due to the duration of water pressure on our levee system. View the levee maps at www.cityoftulsa.org/rivermaps [cityoftulsa.org]

Bus transportation via Tulsa Transit has been arranged to assist residents who live near the levees and want to self-evacuate. The self-evacuation locations are 2401 Charles Page Blvd. at Tulsa County Social Services and Cameron St. & 41st W. Avenue at Wayman Tisdale Fine Arts Academy. The Metropolitan Tulsa Transit Authority (MTTA) is the official transportation to the shelters and buses are running daily from 11 a.m. – midnight.

On Tuesday, May 28, Tulsa Police requested the evacuation of residents in an area near a private berm that was leaking primarily as a result of a storm sewer backup. The evacuation took place between 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. from West 36th Street to West 37th Place and Galveston to Elwood Avenue. At the request of emergency management, PSO disconnected the power to 65 homes in this area. Police used their vehicle public address systems to announce the imminent danger and request a voluntary evacuation. Crews had reinforced the berm with backfill for three days, but experts determined the structure was leaking and the water continued to rise slowly to the point an evacuation recommendation was warranted. Approximately 21 homes are in the area, however, many of the residents had already self-evacuated over the last three days. Tulsa Transit made buses available to residents to transport them to a Red Cross shelter.

Shelters

Currently, the Red Cross is encouraging evacuees to go to its shelter at Faith Church, 1901 West 171st St. in Glenpool. The Red Cross shelter at Crosstown Church of Christ, 3400 E. Admiral Place, is nearly at capacity. All buses are taking evacuees to Faith Church. A third shelter will be established and announced if needed. ADA service animals can be taken to the shelter locations. All other pets can go to the temporary shelter at Tulsa Expo Square Fairground Pavilion (south entrance) from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. The temporary pet shelter at the Fairground is accepting pet food, blankets and towels. For large animal shelter requests, please contact 211.

Animal rescue assistance requests can be made by calling Tulsa Animal Welfare at (918) 596-8000, press option 6, beginning at 9 a.m.

Residents in Tulsa County with questions or concerns related to the flooding event or evacuations can call 211. 211 is also equipped to take damage assessments and answer questions about donations to those affected by the floods. The 211 Center has taken 2,000 calls and continue to staff up to handle the additional load.

Sand Bag Locations

Tulsa – Oral Roberts University Mabee Center parking lot, 7777 S. Lewis Ave., open 24/7. There are 67 pallets available on the lot.
Jenks – Jenks Softball Field, 1701 N. Birch St.

For the Jenks location, bags are available to fill, but the public is responsible to bring their own shovel(s). The hours are 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Bixby – White Hawk at Highway 67 and South 49th East Avenue. Limit 25 bags per vehicle.

The stockpile of sand is constantly being replenished.

PSO

At the request of emergency management, PSO has disconnected power to an additional 64 industry and business customers. The power remains off at all structures that have been evacuated during this flood event. In addition to 21 homes disconnected Tuesday night in the area of Galveston to Elwood (berm issue) approximately six homes south of 111th Street also were disconnected for safety reasons.

Floodwater Health Advisory

Residents are advised to stay away from floodwater and standing waters as they can be dangerous. Floodwaters can contain harmful debris, sewage and snakes. The Tulsa Health Department is offering tetanus shots at no cost at any of its immunization clinics during normal working hours. For hours and locations, call (918)-582-9355 or go to tulsa-health.org/vaccines.

Neighborhood and Barricade Safety

Tulsa Police and Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office are patrolling evacuated neighborhoods to thwart looters and keep homes secure and will do the same with any future evacuations. Once areas are evacuated, non-residents are not allowed in the affected areas.

Police are urging people to not drive around barricades. These barricades are put up for the safety of everyone. River Parks is closed. This area should be avoided, has unstable ground and any attempt to drive around barricades, especially in this area, is dangerous and puts your life and the lives of our first responders at risk.

Education and Safety

• If you leave your home, take all electric precautions by switching off the main breaker to electricity and disconnect any emergency power system, like generators.

• Have a packed bag with prescriptions and clothing for a multiple-day period

• Charge your cell phones and place them in low-power mode, put valuables in a higher place, bring your pets with you

• Leave your home with important identification for you and any members of your family and take videos/pictures of your home for insurance purposes

• If you are an evacuee or someone you know is evacuated and requires home health care and/or in-home hospice care, you need to let your health care agency know where you are sheltering so you can continue to receive services.

• It is important to have a two-week supply of prescription medication on hand and ready if/when you evacuated. In addition, have copies of all prescription medication with dosage, prescribing doctor, and pharmacy. This includes mental health medications. Communicate this message with those in your life who may need assistance with this.

• Communicate with members of your family who need to take these precautions but have physical limitations that may prevent them from doing so.

• For safety’s sake, assume that any downed utility line is energized with deadly electric current. Stay away from the line and do not touch it with anything. Report it to PSO at 1-888-218-3919.

Donations

Tulsa Community Foundation (TCF) and Tulsa Area United Way (TAUW) have established a Disaster Relief Fund for Eastern Oklahoma to provide assistance to nonprofit organizations which are providing services and support to residents of eastern Oklahoma affected by recent

flooding and weather events. Donations can be made securely at www.TulsaCF.org/2019storms [gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com].

Donations by check should be made payable to Tulsa Community Foundation and include: “Disaster Relief Fund for Eastern Oklahoma” in the memo of the check. Mail checks to Tulsa Community Foundation, 7030 S. Yale Ave., Suite 600, Tulsa, Okla., 74136. All donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

Stay Updated on the Flooding Event

Follow the City of Tulsa on Twitter @cityoftulsagov and visit www.cityoftulsa.org [gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com] for updates. Live feeds from news conferences are available on the City of Tulsa Gov Facebook.

The City of Tulsa website has a Google translator that can translate all web pages in more than 121 languages. The City of Tulsa is also adding translations of this briefing in various languages to the City’s Facebook page when available. ###

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