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Quapaw Tornado: Situation Update

by Bryan Painter Published: April 29, 2014
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Situation Update

Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management

 

Situation Update 1

April 28, 2014 – 11:45 a.m.

 

 

RECOVERY UNDERWAY AFTER QUAPAW TORNADO
The town of Quapaw continues to recover from the effects of the tornado that hit the northeast Oklahoma community Sunday evening. The State Emergency Operations Center is at Level 3 activation, with key personnel working extended hours. Numerous OEM staff remain in Quapaw assisting local officials with tornado recovery.

 

STATE OF EMERGENCY
Governor Mary Fallin today declared a state of emergency for Ottawa County due to a tornado that struck Quapaw on Sunday. Under the Executive Order, state agencies can make emergency purchases and acquisitions needed to expedite the delivery of resources to local jurisdictions. The declaration also marks a first step toward seeking federal assistance should it be necessary.

 

WEATHER CONDITIONS
A strong storm system moved into the central United States early Sunday.  This system brought warm and moist air northward from the Gulf of Mexico into Oklahoma.  By afternoon, temperatures warmed into the 70s in eastern Oklahoma, creating a favorable environment for severe thunderstorms.  Several severe thunderstorms developed in eastern Oklahoma Sunday afternoon.  These storms then moved northeast as they strengthened.  Most of the storms moved into Missouri and Arkansas before tornadoes could develop.  However, the storm in far northeast Oklahoma produced a tornado starting at Quapaw.  This tornado continued until it exited the state a few miles northeast of Quapaw.  The National Weather Service is en route to Quapaw to complete a damage assessment and rate the tornado.

 

SHELTERS AND MASS CARE

The American Red Cross continues to operate a shelter at the Quapaw Wellness Center at 907 Whitebird Lane for residents displaced by the storms.

 

FATALITIES AND INJURIES

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner reports one fatality in Quapaw attributed to the tornado.

 

Quapaw Fire Officials report five people were injured and transported to a nearby hospital.

 

DAMAGE ASSESSMENTS

 

Damage assessments are ongoing Monday. Nearly 50 homes and businesses were damaged in the storm. City Hall and the Fire Station sustained heavy damage.

 

POWER OUTAGES

Oklahoma Corporation Commission reports Empire Electric has 1,285 customers without power in Quapaw and Picher.

STATE ASSISTANCE
OEM deployed outdoor lights which assisted in search and rescue efforts Sunday evening. Industrial size generators were also supplied for the water lift stations, water tower, one school and city hall.

DIAL 211

For Oklahoma residents seeking non-emergency disaster or health and human service information, please contact your local 2-1-1. Services are available 24 hours a day by dialing 2-1-1 from your home or cellular telephone. Please only call 911 for emergencies.

by Bryan Painter
Assistant Local Editor
Bryan Painter, assistant local editor, has 31 years’ experience in journalism, including 22 years with the state's largest newspaper, The Oklahoman. In that time he has covered such events as the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah...
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