Another cold night in Oklahoma; 7 deaths reported

By Michael Kimball, mkimball@opubco.com Modified: January 31, 2010 at 9:19 pm •  Published: January 31, 2010

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.

Deaths reported

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.

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