State officials will work through the weekend to prepare for any potentially torrential storms spawned by Hurricane Rita and to care for any evacuees arriving in Oklahoma.
With remnants of the hurricane expected to pour rainfall in extreme southeastern Oklahoma, the state emergency operations center was activated Friday and will remain operating 24 hours. Representatives from the Oklahoma Emergency Management Department, the Oklahoma Military Department, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, the state Health Department and the Federal Emergency Management Agency answered phones and relayed information Friday in the operations center. The center is 20 feet underground near the Capitol. State officials said neighboring states might seek assistance. "We're monitoring those requests, but until we know that Oklahoma is out of harm's way completely we're letting other states know that have similar resources but aren't in this area to handle them," said Michelann Ooten, public information manager for the Oklahoma Emergency Management Department. Michael McNutt, Capitol Bureau
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