Disaster Response: Tulsa Leaders Emphasize Safety As Crews Work To Restore Power

City leaders said they know people are frustrated that the streets blocked, and power is out and lots of people have questions. They’re asking everyone to show each other a little grace.

Monday, June 19th 2023, 10:21 pm



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Thousands of people are without power as crews race to the area to try and get lights back on.

As of Monday night, three people have died as a result of the powerful weekend storm.

One of them was a person in Tulsa who died because they relied on a respirator and didn’t have power.

City leaders said they know people are frustrated that the streets blocked, and power is out and lots of people have questions. They’re asking everyone to show each other a little grace.

The mayor said city crews are working tirelessly in the heat.

"They're working 24 hours a day to get your power restored. They're working 24 hours a day to get all of this debris cleared and to get everybody's life back to normal, but the scale of this disaster is so great that it's gonna take some time,” said Mayor G.T. Bynum, Tulsa.

He said they've cleared nearly every main street in Tulsa are now working in neighborhoods.

He’s been in contact with the Governor's Office and the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management.

"We've provided them all the material they need for the declaration of an emergency and we're hopeful to have that any day,” said Mayor Bynum.

Police Chief Wendall Franklin said drivers are blowing through intersections, driving around barricades, and losing their temper.

"Those intersections that are no longer powered, those are to be treated as a four-way stop,” said Chief Franklin.

Chief Franklin said thieves have also taken advantage of the chaos and broken into businesses that don't have power, so they're increasing their patrols.

"If you want to go out and try your luck then we'll be there and take you to David L. Moss,” said Chief Franklin.

City leaders said it's important to check on your neighbors.

"There's a lot of our elderly community that like to be resilient on their own. We saw this in 2007 during the ice storm; it becomes a word of mouth and human connection,” said Chief Michael Baker, Tulsa Fire.

The city is setting up a mulch site starting at noon Tuesday at East Latimer Street and North 89th east avenue. After Tuesday, it'll be open every day from 7 to 7.

They're also working on a plan for picking up debris from people's curbs.

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