Tens of thousands of Oklahomans are spending another cold night without electricity as an anticipated slight warmup in the weather failed to materialize for much of the state today.
Officials reported more than 79,000 customers were still without power at 9 tonight after a day when temperatures failed to escape the 20s for much of the affected area. The number of customers without power was down about 29,000 from 24 hours earlier and down from the high of 180,000 reported Friday morning.
Thursday's storm is blamed for seven deaths in Oklahoma and hundreds of injury accidents.
Temperatures are expected to reach the high 30s Monday in the Oklahoma City area and the low 40s in southwest Oklahoma, where virtually all of the power outages are. Overnight freezing fog is expected, and the Oklahoma City area could receive freezing drizzle before noon, according to the National Weather Service.
Seven deaths have been attributed to the storm, said Michelann Ooten, spokeswoman for the state Emergency Management Department.
- A 70-year-old Ada woman, whose name has not been released, was using a generator Friday after she lost power and died when a propane tank used to fuel it exploded, Ooten said.
- A 73-year-old Pontotoc County man died Saturday in a house fire caused by a wood-burning stove he was using because of a power outage.
- Rubin Rodriguez, 33, died this morning near Holdenville when his car veered off the road on a snow-covered embankment and hit a culvert, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported.
- A 59-year-old Geary woman fell on the slick ground when she went out to feed chickens about 8:30 a.m. Saturday morning.
- An 86-year-old Yukon man died Saturday after he slipped and fell while shoveling snow.
- A 79-year-old Harmon County woman was found dead in her home Saturday where there was no power and the inside temperature was 30 degrees.
- A 62-year-old Anadarko man was found dead Sunday in his travel trailer where there was no power and the inside temperature was 28 degrees.
The state Department of Health reports 10 people have been treated for carbon monoxide poisoning. Additionally, OSDH reports 325 injuries from slips and falls and 70 injuries from motor vehicle accidents related to the storm.
EMSA spokeswoman Lara O'Leary said emergency responders in the Oklahoma City area have responded to 93 slips and falls since Thursday morning, with some resulting in critical injuries and most requiring transport to an emergency room.
Crews have also responded to 99 motor vehicle accidents since the storm hit Thursday.
Power still out for many
The state Emergency Management Department reported about 79,393 utility customers were still without power at 9:00 p.m.
Nearly 9,000 customers in Chickasha and more than 15,000 customers in Lawton were among the 30,871 Public Service Company of Oklahoma customers without power Sunday afternoon, the Public Service Company of Oklahoma said.
The Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority reported about 15,000 customers were without power, including 9,300 in Altus.
The Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives reported 30,847 customers were without power, including more than 9,600 served by Walters-based Cotton Electric, 6,200 in Binger-based Caddo Electric and 3,800 in Lindsay-based Rural Electric.
Oklahoma Gas and Electric reported 2,729 customers without power. The company has closed walk-up centers in Ada, Seminole and Pauls Valley.
The entire city of Altus was still without power, a county emergency management spokeswoman said. Officials hope to have power available to the city by tonight, but it could take three days to restore power to each residence and business. Hospitals and emergency centers will have power turned on first.
A shelter is still open at the Altus Community Center, the spokeswoman said.
Shelters in Comanche County are still open at Cameron Baptist Church in Lawton, the Cache Multi-Purpose Complex, the Elgin fire department and the Medicine Park Community Center.
More than 12,000 customers in Grady County remained without power, many in Chickasha, county Emergency Manager Dale Thompson said this morning. A shelter at the Grady County fairgrounds will remain open to county residents in need of a hot meal or a place to warm up or sleep as long as it is needed.
Road conditions improving after overnight re-freeze
Conditions on state roadways continued to improve today after a re-freeze last night, Ooten said.
Snow plows, salt and sand trucks and other machinery continued to work on highways and roadways throughout the affected area, officials said.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol had worked 568 storm related crashes, including 120 involving injury, since the storm began.