Oklahoma Governor Declares State Of Emergency In Winter Storm


Thursday, December 5th 2013, 7:33 am
By: News On 6


Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin declared a State of Emergency for all 77 Oklahoma counties because of the winter storm hitting the state.

Her office released a statement Thursday afternoon, saying, "because the weather event is expected to include prolonged sub-freezing temperatures, dangerous road conditions and power outages, emergency management authorities recommended issuing this declaration before the full brunt of the storm arrives." 

The governor's executive order allows state agencies to make emergency purchases to deal with the storm. It also is the first step toward seeking federal assistance if it becomes necessary.

The State Emergency Operations Center is also activated. 

Attorney General Scott Pruitt also announced that Oklahoma's Emergency Price Stabilization Act is now in effect for 77 Oklahoma counties because of the declaration.

Pruitt said Oklahoma's price-gouging law prohibits an increase of more than 10 percent in the price of most goods and services when a state of emergency has been declared.

From 12:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, EMSA in Tulsa had responded to a total of 39 weather related calls, mostly wrecks, in the Tulsa area. Those calls resulted in at least 19 transports to local hospitals.

EMSA transported five people due to falls.

An ice storm warning is in place until 6 p.m. Friday for southeastern Oklahoma, while snow is falling over much of northeastern Oklahoma.

News On 6 meteorologist Dick Faurot says road conditions are deteriorating across Oklahoma Thursday afternoon and will continue to do so into the night.

He expects several inches of snow to fall along the Interstate 44 corridor, with lesser amounts to the northwest. To the southeast of that corridor the biggest threat is ice.

There is an ice storm warning in effect for Haskell, Latimer, LeFlore, Pittsburg and Sequoyah. The National Weather Service says power outages are likely there because of ice.

News On 6 viewers across the region reported sleet and freezing rain Thursday morning. Sleet began falling in the Tulsa area at about 11:30 a.m. It shifted over to snow at about 1 p.m.

The rest of eastern Oklahoma is under a winter storm warning through 6 p.m. Friday.

A second round of moderate snow showers is expected across most of the Tulsa area Thursday evening, starting around 10 p.m., and into Friday. 

Faurot says the heaviest snowfall will happen overnight into Friday morning.

Our best estimate shows the eastern Oklahoma area is in for three to six inches of snow accumulation, with Tulsa seeing about three and a half inches.

Temperatures across the region will continue to drop as well. Faurot says some parts of the state could see temperatures as low as 0 degrees.

Counties included in the Winter Storm Warning include Adair, Cherokee, Craig, Creek, Delaware, Mayes, McIntosh, Muskogee, Nowata, Okfuskee, Okmulgee, Osage, Ottawa, Pawnee, Payne, Rogers, Tulsa, Wagoner and Washington counties.

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