McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

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December 6, 2013

State emergency officials: Situation Update

As of noon Friday

OKLAHOMA CITY — Due to the latest winter storm impacting Oklahoma, the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) remains activated. Agencies and organizations represented at the State EOC during activation have included the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Oklahoma Department of Transportation, Oklahoma National Guard, Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security, Salvation Army, American Red Cross and other disaster relief agencies.

Roads are slick and hazardous in many areas of the state. Numerous schools and businesses are closed. State agency nonessential services are also closed today. Stay tuned to local media for notification of cancelations.

STATE OF EMERGENCY

A State of Emergency for all 77 Oklahoma counties remains in place. On Thursday, Governor Mary Fallin issued the declaration due to the winter storm. The Executive Order allows state agencies to make emergency purchases related to disaster relief and preparedness. It is also a first step toward seeking federal assistance should it be necessary.

MASS CARE

The American Red Cross has opened a warming center in Hugo at First Baptist Church, 300 E. Jackson Street. This center may transition to a shelter if needed.

Baptist Disaster Relief is moving a feeding kitchen to Hugo as well.

The American Red Cross, The Salvation Army and Baptist Disaster Relief remain on standby to assist with shelters, warming stations and feeding stations in other impacted areas.

FATALITIES AND INJURIES

Oklahoma Highway Patrol reports two weather related fatalities have been confirmed: one in Owasso and the other in Muskogee.

According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, 116 storm related injuries have been reported by area hospitals including 48 falls.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol has responded to 106 weather-related collisions since 8 a.m. Thursday. They continue to urge motorists to avoid travel in the affected areas.

RESOURCE COORDINATION

Oklahoma Forestry Division is responding to Pushmataha and Choctaw counties with equipment to move fallen trees out of roadways. Baptist Disaster Relief is also deploying chainsaw teams to help with timber debris. This will help allow power restoration teams access to the area to assist with restoring power to homes and businesses.

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