7 Deaths from Winter Storm, About 80,000 Remain Without Power

Sunday, January 31st 2010, 1:48 pm
By: News 9


OKLAHOMA CITY -- The number of Oklahoman homes and business without power dropped below 100,000 on Sunday, according to Michelann Ooten, Public Information Officer for the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management.

Seven fatalities have also been attributed to the winter storm. The Office of the State Medical Examiner reported:

-- An 86-year-old Yukon man died Sunday due to injuries sustained Friday when he slipped and fell while shoveling snow.
-- A 79-year-old Harmon County woman was found dead in her house where there was no power and the inside temperature was 30 degrees on Saturday.
-- A 59-year-old Geary woman was found dead outside her home Saturday.
-- A 62-year-old Anadarko man was found dead today in his travel trailer where there was no power and the inside temperature was 28 degrees.
-- A 73-year-old Pontotoc County man died Saturday in a house fire after using a wood-burning stove due to power outages.
-- A 70-year-old Ada woman died Friday after a propane tank exploded at her home. The propane tank was being used to fuel a generator due to power outages. Her husband was hospitalized in critical condition due to the incident.
-- The Oklahoma Highway Patrol also reported a 33-year-old Holdenville man died Sunday in a one-vehicle crash one mile north of US 270 on SH 48 in Hughes County. A passenger in the car, another Holdenville man, was treated and released from Holdenville General Hospital.

Oklahoma remains under an emergency disaster declaration. On Saturday, President Barack Obama approved Governor Brad Henry's request for the federal disaster aid covering all 77 Oklahoma counties.

The emergency declaration authorizes federal resources to assist state and local governments as they continue to respond to the severe winter storm. These resources include industrial size generators, bottled water, cots and blankets.

The need for additional federal disaster aid to cover further response and recovery costs is currently being assessed, Ooten said.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission reports around 79,393 homes and businesses are without electric service due to the winter storm, which includes the following. 

PSO reports 30,871 customers without power including those in:

Chickasha area - 8,826
Hobart area - 6,094
Lawton area - 13,885
Tipton area - 1,952

PSO is encouraging its customers in western Oklahoma to check the connection point between PSO service and their home or business to see if it is damaged. If there has been damage at the point where PSO's electric line connects to a home or business, the customer will need to have an electrician repair the connection. PSO cannot make the repair – and cannot restore the customer's power until an electrician repairs the connection. If the connection is damaged as a result of the recent winter storm, the customer should not try to repair it. They should call a licensed electrician as soon as possible.

The Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority reports 14,946 customers are without power in:

Lexington 200
Purcell 800
Altus 9,300
Eldorado 283
Olustee 316
Marlow 2,325
Granite 613
Manitou 209
Duncan 1,000

The Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives (OAEC) reports 30,847 customers are without power in:

Caddo Electric, Binger: 6,270
Canadian Valley Electric, Seminole: 3,000
Cotton Electric, Walters: 9,635
East Central OK Electric, Okmulgee: 430
Harmon Electric Association, Hollis: 3,303
Kiwash Electric, Cordell: 1,150
Northfork Electric, Sayre: 64
Oklahoma Electric, Norman: 199
People's Electric, Ada: 1,496
Rural Electric, Lindsay: 3,800
Southwest Rural Electric, Tipton: 1,500

OG&E reports 2,729 customers (including 730 in Wayne and 542 in Seminole) are without service.

OG&E has closed its customer walk-up centers in Ada, Seminole and Pauls Valley.

Ooten also reminded Oklahoma businesses that price gouging laws are in effect for all 77 Oklahoma counties. The price gouging statute prohibits an increase of more than 10 percent in the price of most goods and services when a State of Emergency has been declared. Anyone who suspects price gouging is urged to contact the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Unit at 405-521-2029.

More on News9.com: Rural Areas May be Without Power for a Week, Co-Op Says