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Oklahoma storm death toll rises to 18; others still missing

The Oklahoma medical examiner's office said 18 people were dead after the body of a girl was found Monday afternoon along the Deep Fork River in northeast Oklahoma City.
by William Crum Published: June 3, 2013

Gov. Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency in 25 more counties Monday as the death toll continued to climb from tornadoes and torrential rains that swept across central Oklahoma.

The state medical examiner's office said at least 18 people were dead after the body of a girl was found Monday afternoon along the Deep Fork River in Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma City firefighters continued to search for five people who still were missing.

The state Health Department said 115 people were treated for injuries at Oklahoma City area hospitals as a result of Friday's storms.

The medical examiner's office Monday added five to its list of confirmed fatalities, including a boy and girl who had not been identified. The list now includes six children.

Firefighters recovered a girl's body about 1:20 p.m. near Interstates 35 and 44 along the Deep Fork River in Oklahoma City, said Marc Woodard, the deputy chief.

Woodard said crews still were searching the Deep Fork for a woman.

The two were among seven people from two families who sought shelter Friday night beneath a bridge and were swept away by rising water as the slow-moving storm drenched the metro area with more than 5 inches of rain.

A search continued for four others missing on the Oklahoma River near the Dell campus at SW 15 and I-44, Woodard said.

Power, water, roads

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission said 15,754 homes and businesses, including 6,500 in Oklahoma City, remained without power.

Most were Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. customers in the Oklahoma City area. Thirteen were Canadian Valley Electric Cooperative customers, most in the Wetumka area.

About 8,300 Cox telephone customers, most in south Oklahoma City, were without service.

The Oklahoma City-County Health Department offered free bacterial testing of water from private wells that may have been contaminated by floodwaters.

Authorities dispatched crews to repair washed out roadways.

The Silver Creek bridge on Spencer Road between NE 36 and NE 50 was closed, said Brian Jasper, the Oklahoma County District 1 superintendent.

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by William Crum
OU and Norman High School graduate, formerly worked as a reporter and editor for the Associated Press, the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, and the Norman Transcript. Married, two children, lives in Norman.
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Disaster-declared counties

Forty-one Oklahoma counties now are included in the state of emergency first declared after the EF5 tornado leveled sections of Oklahoma City and Moore on May 20, killing 24 people.

Adair, Caddo, Canadian, Cherokee, Cleveland, Coal, Comanche, Craig, Creek, Delaware, Garfield, Garvin, Grady, Grant, Greer, Hughes, Kingfisher, Kiowa, Le Flore, Lincoln and Logan counties are on the list.

Also included are Mayes, McClain, McCurtain, McIntosh, Muskogee, Nowata, Okfuskee, Oklahoma, Okmulgee, Osage, Ottawa, Pawnee, Payne, Pottawatomie, Pushmataha, Sequoyah, Stephens, Tulsa, Wagoner and Washington counties.

Declaration of a state of emergency marks the first step toward seeking federal assistance.


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