Emergency Management News

Monday, November 30, 2015

Your December records for #AltusOK from @OKmesonet

Periods of Record
# - large gaps in record
* - Record since tied
Highlight = Dec record
All Temps in deg F
All Precip in inches
Sig Prcp Freq = Pct of
days with >= 0.1" precip
1T Avgs: 60/33
Sig Prcp Freq: 8%
High T81 (1950)
Low T7 (2006)
Precip0.98 (1933)
Snow2.5 (2006)
2T Avgs: 60/32
Sig Prcp Freq: 6%
High T83 (1995)
Low T8* (1985)
Precip2.33 (1913)
Snowtrace (1919)
3T Avgs: 59/33
Sig Prcp Freq: 11%
High T80 (1995)
Low T17 (1967)
Precip0.65 (1993)
4T Avgs: 59/32
Sig Prcp Freq: 11%
High T88 (1954)
Low T18 (2009)
Precip1.47 (1947)
5T Avgs: 59/33
Sig Prcp Freq: 13%
High T84 (1956)
Low T18* (1950)
Precip0.81 (1935)
Snowtrace* (1950)
6T Avgs: 56/32
Sig Prcp Freq: 7%
High T80 (1939)
Low T6 (1950)
Precip1.82 (1926)
Snow1.6 (1942)
7T Avgs: 57/30
Sig Prcp Freq: 6%
High T83 (1966)
Low T8 (1950)
Precip0.51 (1942)
Snow7.5 (1942)
8T Avgs: 54/30
Sig Prcp Freq: 6%
High T77 (1970)
Low T2 (2005)
Precip1.65 (1980)
Snowtrace* (1921)
9T Avgs: 54/29
Sig Prcp Freq: 8%
High T75* (1957)
Low T4 (2005)
Precip1.42 (1999)
Snow2.0 (1932)
10T Avgs: 54/30
Sig Prcp Freq: 9%
High T83 (1939)
Low T7 (1919)
Precip1.07 (1999)
Snowtrace (1997)
11T Avgs: 54/29
Sig Prcp Freq: 9%
High T81 (1939)
Low T8 (1917)
Precip0.95 (1960)
Snow0.5 (1972)
12T Avgs: 54/29
Sig Prcp Freq: 11%
High T79 (1921)
Low T5 (1989)
Precip0.96 (2007)
Snow0.5 (1972)
13T Avgs: 52/29
Sig Prcp Freq: 8%
High T84 (1921)
Low T6 (1917)
Precip0.53 (2000)
Snow2.0 (1985)
14T Avgs: 53/28
Sig Prcp Freq: 5%
High T79 (1921)
Low T8* (1914)
Precip0.70 (1992)
15T Avgs: 52/27
Sig Prcp Freq: 10%
High T79 (1977)
Low T8 (1987)
Precip0.99 (1984)
Snow5.0 (1932)
16T Avgs: 54/28
Sig Prcp Freq: 9%
High T78 (2006)
Low T8 (1987)
Precip1.54 (1931)
Snowtrace* (1965)
17T Avgs: 53/27
Sig Prcp Freq: 6%
High T77 (1939)
Low T0 (1932)
Precip0.80 (1959)
Snow2.5 (1924)
18T Avgs: 52/28
Sig Prcp Freq: 5%
High T76 (1977)
Low T8* (1964)
Precip0.70 (1995)
Snow1.0 (1924)
19T Avgs: 54/28
Sig Prcp Freq: 8%
High T76 (1978)
Low T0 (1924)
Precip1.41 (1918)
Snow0.5 (1995)
20T Avgs: 52/28
Sig Prcp Freq: 8%
High T77 (2004)
Low T6 (1983)
Precip1.59 (2006)
Snowtrace* (1951)
21T Avgs: 52/27
Sig Prcp Freq: 8%
High T78 (1981)
Low T5 (1983)
Precip1.24 (1997)
Snow1.0 (1916)
22T Avgs: 53/27
Sig Prcp Freq: 9%
High T74* (1982)
Low T0* (1983)
Precip1.20 (2002)
Snow3.0 (1913)
23T Avgs: 52/27
Sig Prcp Freq: 7%
High T76 (1964)
Low T-10 (1989)
Precip2.79 (1932)
Snow10.5 (1918)
24T Avgs: 51/26
Sig Prcp Freq: 7%
High T88 (1955)
Low T4 (1983)
Precip1.29 (1965)
Snow2.5 (2009)
25T Avgs: 51/26
Sig Prcp Freq: 6%
High T75 (1950)
Low T5 (1983)
Precip0.85 (2009)
Snow5.0 (1939)
26T Avgs: 52/27
Sig Prcp Freq: 4%
High T77 (2005)
Low T7 (1914)
Precip1.75 (1987)
Snow1.3 (2000)
27T Avgs: 51/27
Sig Prcp Freq: 7%
High T78 (1923)
Low T7 (1924)
Precip1.18 (1927)
Snow1.3 (2000)
28T Avgs: 52/27
Sig Prcp Freq: 6%
High T80 (1923)
Low T-1 (1924)
Precip0.34 (1943)
Snow2.0 (1944)
29T Avgs: 53/27
Sig Prcp Freq: 6%
High T80* (1923)
Low T1 (1983)
Precip0.64 (1979)
Snow3.5 (1954)
30T Avgs: 53/28
Sig Prcp Freq: 2%
High T82 (1921)
Low T8 (1990)
Precip0.64 (2006)
Snow2.0 (2009)
31T Avgs: 52/28
Sig Prcp Freq: 9%
High T81 (1951)
Low T6 (1968)
Precip1.78 (1984)
Snow1.5 (1918)
Dec. Averages
High Temp55 F
Low Temp29 F
Avg Temp42 F

Altus Update Governor's Declaration

Oklahoma governor declares state of emergency after storms  http://bit.ly/1lp3WZW #AltusOK #OKice

What does the Governor's declaration mean to Altus?  It means we need to document our winter weather response dollars to the State in an expeditious manner.  Those dollars would be the emergency protective measures done by the Police, Fire, and Street departments.  However, over 50% of the cost of a disaster is in public works.  Therefore, debris removal efforts will be included as well as the cost of damage to the Altus Power infrastructure.

Those figures will be used to determine the State and Federal disaster proclamation effort.  If there is a Federal disaster declared by the President, then FEMA dollars will reimburse the cost.

Speaking of Altus Power, good job to them, Police, Fire, and Street departments.  Social media was abuzz with good comments from the public regarding their hard work this Thanksgiving this weekend.

Did you feel the 4.5 Magnitude Earthquake in Oklahoma this morning?  If so report it.

Thanks to Erik Mowbray for serving as Duty Officer this weekend.  He did a lot.  Also, thanks to Michael Cheney, N5AFR, for monitoring NWSchat.  It was an action packed weekend in #AltusOK and beyond.   Those are just two of the EM volunteers who serve this weekend and at other times in the Calendar. 

"Areas of freezing fog after 11 pm" http://1.usa.gov/1Iv092k That's the forecast for tonight.   Please remember that freezing fog can cause poor driving conditions.

Please enjoy the warmer temperatures today and observe "Perpetual Youth Day" http://bit.ly/1Nl4Gdx

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Red Cross offers Christmas safety tips #AltusOK #OKready #tweko

The American Red Cross urges residents to take extra precautions with cooking and decorating this holiday season. Christmas Day, Christmas Eve and Thanksgiving are the top three days for cooking fires, according to the National Fire Prevention Association. Nationally, the Red Cross responds to a disaster on average every eight minutes, and the vast majority of these disasters are home fires.
“Cooking is the leading cause of home fires, and as people are cooking, entertaining, and stringing lights this holiday season, we’re urging that they take safety measures to ensure that their homes and loved ones are safe from the threat of fire,” said Maxine Margaritis, regional CEO, American Red Cross serving Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.
Additionally, Christmas trees account for hundreds of fires annually. One of every three home Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical problems and roughly one of every six Christmas tree fires is due to a heat source too close to the tree.
Home fires can be prevented. The Red Cross encourages everyone to take simple steps to keep their homes and loved ones safe from home fires this holiday season.
Holiday Entertaining

  • Test your smoke alarms.
  • Check food regularly while cooking and remain in the home while cooking. Use a timer as a reminder that the stove or oven is on.
  • Enforce a “kid-free zone” in the cooking area and make children stay at least three feet away from the stove.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire away from the stove, oven or any appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
  • Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.
  • Purchase a fire extinguisher to keep in the kitchen. Contact the local fire department to receive training on the proper use of extinguishers.

  • Holiday Decorating

  • Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.
  • Keep children, pets and decorations away from lit candles.
  • Keep matches and lighters up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini light sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs. Read manufacturer’s instructions for the number of LED strands to connect. Some strings of lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
  • Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged.
  • Keep decorations away from windows and doors.

  • Christmas Trees

  • Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
  • Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
  • Add water daily to the tree stand.
  • Always turn off tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
  • After Christmas, remove the tree from your home when it begins dropping needles. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home.

  • People should also download the free American Red Cross First Aid app, which provides instant access to information on handling the most common first aid emergencies. The apps can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross or by going to redcross.org/mobileapps.
    People can test their knowledge on how to prevent home fires by taking the Fire Safety Quiz and can learn more about fire prevention by visiting redcross.org.
    About the American Red Cross:
    The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visitredcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

    Saturday, November 28, 2015

    Update for #AltusOK on #ShopSmall Saturday

    Would you LOOK at that graphic?

    Inline image 1

    That's over half the State with frozen MesoNet Wind sensors!  That's a serious case of "measles".

    From the Co-ops this morning:

    Ice, ice, and, unfortunately, more ice accumulated during the overnight hours. Reports from several co-ops indicate total icing amounts in some areas are now in the 0.75” to 1” range. Average is 0.5” or slightly more across a wide swath of central, southwestern, western, northwestern and northern Oklahoma. Winds have slowly but gradually decreased, from 15 – 25 mph down to the 5 – 15 mph range, which should help line crews as they work to restore power.

    Here are the outage numbers for electric co-ops in Oklahoma as of 6:30 am this morning, Saturday, November 28th:

    Alfalfa Electric – 1,257
    Caddo Electric – 7,653
    Central Rural Electric – 645
    Cimarron Electric – 2,577
    Cotton Electric – 225
    Indian Electric – 305
    Kay Electric – 20
    Lake Region Electric – 1
    Northeast OK Electric – 32
    Northwestern Electric – 255
    Oklahoma Electric – 4,044
    Tri-County Electric – 1

    So far, no MAJOR structural damage has been reported – several co-ops have reported a few poles down and some cross arms broken, but I have received no reports of major infrastructure damage as of this time.

    Good news:  The winds dying down are mentioned above and the graphic below shows for the forecast for temperatures rising above freezing.  The winds, as you can see, decrease after sunset today.

    Inline image 2

    Our friends at the Regional Operations Center wrote:

    Today through Sunday Morning

    • Freezing rain will continue across the western 2/3 of OK into the eastern TX Panhandle southward into west-central TX 
        • Accumulating ice on trees and power lines will lead to power outages along and west of I-35 in OK westward into the eastern TX Panhandle and west-central TX southward to near I-20
        • Significant impacts to travel from I-40 in OKC into the TX Panhandle
    • Heavy rain over SE OK, much of AR, N/NE TX expected through Sunday morning with flooding possible over these areas 

    Your forecast from your friends at the National Weather Service reads:

    “Today  Rain or freezing rain, becoming all rain after noon. High near 34. North wind 10 to 13 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. Total daytime ice accumulation of less than a 0.1 of an inch possible.

    Tonight Rain likely, mainly before midnight. Cloudy, with a low around 33. North wind 7 to 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.” http://1.usa.gov/1lQfXbo

    Altus Power and Altus Police dispatchers were working well last night.  According to EM Volunteer Ron Roman, the calls for power outages were coming to Central Dispatch and the message to the power crews went out over the radio.

    One comment on Facebook praised the City Street Department.

    In the mean time, please be safe.  Check on your neighbor.  Give Mr. Mowbray your full assistance.

    Travel wisely as you participate in “Small Business Saturday” http://amex.co/1jpt5Cw

    Friday, November 27, 2015

    #AltusOK update #OKice Warning

    As promised, http://mesonet.org/ is showing wind sensors on the State's Mesonet failing.  

    Pretty much where the NWS is showing the most ice,

    Inline image 1

    one can see zero wind speed.  Yet, if you dare venture outside, the winds are obvious.

    As I mentioned in yesterday's update, there may be "measles" on the map.  Today there they are.

    From our friends at the National Weather Service Office in Norman:
    The ice storm warning continues for Kay, Garfield, Kingfisher, Canadian, Caddo, Kiowa and Jackson Counties Oklahoma and all points west, as well as Hardeman and Foard Counties in Texas. A winter weather advisory continues for Noble, Payne, Logan, Oklahoma, Cleveland, McClain, Grady, Comanche, and Tillman Counties in Oklahoma, and Wilbarger, Baylor and Knox Counties in Texas. The main concern is freezing rain causing icing in the warning and advisory areas, although some sleet is also possible. Precipitation should primarily remain rain to the east of the advisory area.

    The freezing line is roughly from Ponca City to Yukon to Anadarko, Hobart and Altus Oklahoma at 930 am. The precipitation is primarily freezing rain to the northwest of this line, and rain to the southeast. The freezing line will likely move only slowly southeast today, but may be enough for rain to change to freezing rain in portions of the advisory area, including western and perhaps central sections of the OKC metro as well as (potentially) Guthrie, Chickasha, Lawton, Altus and Vernon. Ice accumulation near this transition zone will primarily be on cold, exposed surfaces (car windows/doors, and perhaps bridges, trees, power lines, etc.) Farther northwest across northern and western Oklahoma where temperatures are colder, ice may also accumulate on road surfaces.
    In the southeast, showers with heavy rain can produce some creek and river flooding.

    The freezing line will actually move only slightly southeast. So some area just on the rain side of the transition may change to freezing rain this evening and overnight in the winter weather advisory area. In the advisory area, these impacts may not be through the entire county. Freezing rain and associated impacts may affect the western or northwestern portion of these counties while eastern portions may stay as a cold rain.

    Moderate to locally heavy rain will continue across north Texas and southern and eastern Oklahoma.

    Cold and rainy conditions are still expected over most of the area. Temperatures should warm a few degrees gradually changing the precipitation back to rain in more areas, although temperatures in northwest Oklahoma will still be cold enough to keep freezing rain and/or sleet all day (roughly Medford/ Cherokee/ Clinton/ Hollis and areas northwest.)

    Locally heavy rain will still be possible in southeast Oklahoma.

    Saturday night
    Precipitation will continue through most of the area, although drier air will begin moving into northwest Oklahoma decreasing precipitation chances there. Temperatures will not change much, so the rain/freezing rain transition zone will just fluctuate somewhat through portions of northern and western Oklahoma. Precipitation amounts will be lighter though.

    Rain/freezing rain chances continue to decrease.

    Good luck to everyone out there and enjoy the rest of the holiday weekend.
    Doug Speheger
    National Weather Service
    Weather Forecast Office Norman, OK
    120 David L. Boren Blvd. Suite 2400
    Norman, OK 73072

    From Sid Sperry:

    Freezing rain and ice accumulation has caused outages for a few electric cooperatives in Oklahoma overnight. The two electric cooperatives that appear to have the most outages due to ice accumulation at this time are Tri-County Electric Cooperative (TCEC, Hooker, OK) in the Oklahoma panhandle, reporting 3,867 outages as of 7:00 a.m., mostly in Texas County north and northwest of Guymon; and Cimarron Electric Cooperative, Kingfisher, OK, reporting 366 outages, mostly in the Hennessy, Kingfisher and Longdale areas. Northwestern Electric Cooperative in Woodward, OK, is reporting 15 outages, all in Woodward County, near the Sharon and Vici areas.

    Total electric co-op outages as of 7:00 a.m. Friday morning: 4,251

    Our friends at the Southern Region office wrote:

    Today through Sunday

    • A mix of wintry precipitation is expected to continue today across N NM, the TX/OK Panhandles and into W OK; will likely continue through  Sunday morning
    • Freezing rain expected to develop further southward tonight/Saturday morning and possibly again Saturday night/Sunday morning into west/SW TX
         • Significant travel impacts from west of I-35 in OK into NM and spreading southward into the Permian Basin of TX by Saturday morning
         • Widespread power outages likely from western OK into the TX Rolling Plains and southern TX Panhandle
    • Heavy rain over eastern OK, much of AR, N/NE-SW TX expected through Sunday morning with flash flooding
     possible over these areas  

    The State Emergency Operations Center is at Level Three (Monitoring).  Those with WebEOC accounts may wish to participate.  

    This is from Public Service of Oklahoma:
    PSO Prepares for Potential Ice Storm in Lawton District

    November 26, 2015 – 6 p.m.

    Public Service Company of Oklahoma has begun preparations for responding to a potential ice storm in western Oklahoma, which could cause electric service disruptions.

    Details of our storm response follow: 

    The National Weather Service has issued an ice storm warning for many western counties in Oklahoma where there is a high probability of freezing rain and heavy ice accumulation on trees, power lines and utility poles. Locally, PSO expects the freezing rain to start in the western portions of our service territory around 7 a.m. tomorrow (Friday, November 27) and continue through mid-day on Saturday. Ice accumulations of ¼” to as much as ¾” are possible in the warned areas. Wind speeds forecast at 15 mph to 25 mph with gusts to 30 mph could also cause problems with ice-laden trees, power lines and poles.

    PSO customers in the warned counties should prepare now for the possibility of power outages and are urged to take necessary steps to ensure their health and safety if the power does go out.

    If outages occur, PSO will work efficiently as possible to restore power as soon as possible.

    PSO has been monitoring the developing winter storm system for several days and securing additional crews and equipment to help with power restoration if that becomes necessary.

    With the winter storm bearing down on western Oklahoma, PSO is assembling an initial storm-response force of 255 workers now, with at least another 200 workers due to arrive on Friday into Saturday.

    · For safety’s sake, assume that any downed utility line is energized with deadly electric current. Stay away from the line and do not touch it with anything. Report it to PSO at 1-888-218-3919.
    · In the event that major damage occurs, customers should prepare for the potential of a multi-day power outage and are urged to take necessary steps to ensure their health and safety while PSO works to restore power.
    · Unless you have installed a transfer switch that isolates your home’s wiring from PSO’s electric system, do not connect a portable generator directly to a wall outlet or your electrical panel. This can cause electricity to back-feed into PSO’s electric system and pose a safety hazard for repair workers. Instead, plug your appliances directly into the generator.

    · Please do not approach crews and utility vehicles you see in your neighborhood to ask when power will be restored. Doing so could jeopardize your safety. Outward vision from the large utility vehicles can be limited. A crew may not see someone who has walked up to their work truck.

    Mr. Mowbray is duty officer in Altus.  He has already handled one resident's concern.  Please give him your full cooperation.

    Use http://www.dps.state.ok.us/cgi-bin/weathermap.cgi and OK 888-425-2385 AR 800-245-1672 CO 303-639-1111 KS 866-511-5368 MO 800-222-6400 NM 800-432-4269 TX 800-452-9292 to plan your travel.  Do NOT call 911 to ask about slick roads, please.

    Check http://www.srh.noaa.gov/oun/ and your favorite broadcast source for updates through the weekend.


    IF you must travel, travel wisely.  Plan what you will do with one or two days without power.  Altus Power and Streets are working hard to minimize your inconvenience.  All essential services remain in place.

    Be safe and observe the “National Day of Listening” http://bit.ly/1PfB9Eh

    Thursday, November 26, 2015

    Altus Update for Thanksgiving #AltusOK

    Good morning, troops and Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

    The good news is we are getting rain that will help us overcome the D1 Drought conditions.


    Watch the Oklahoma Mesonet wind indicators stop as they ice over at http://mesonet.org/.  There will be "measles" on the screen too as the stations fail.

    With the air temperature forecast to fall below freezing Friday evening and park there through Sunday morning, the brisk winds will drive the wind chills into the teens and low 20s.  Bundle up, if you are working outside.

    “Recognize the symptoms of hypothermia that can be a serious medical condition: confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering. Seek medical attention immediately if you have these symptoms.” http://rdcrss.org/1lLWAjJ

    The period when most of the freezing rain is expected is from noon Friday through Saturday morning.  Total freezing rain of .2 inches is forecast through Sunday.

    One of the tools to come from my FIRST ice storm was the SPIA Index.  Yes, the “Sperry-Piltz Ice Accumulation Index” http://bit.ly/1Smi7JZ is known Nationwide and used by electric utilities to work to over come these sort of challenges.  Both Sid Sperry and Steve Piltz are professionals in their respective disciplines.

    As you can see, from the graphic, the icing is forecast to be worse to our North and West.  

    Your Oklahoma MesoNet soil temperature graphic also offers good news.

    Inline image 2

    With temperature at 59 degrees two inches down, this does not look to be a crop-freezing event and the ground temperature will remain around or above freezing.  In other words, elevated surfaces will freeze first.

    TRAVEL will be over WET roads.  Bridges and overpasses will freeze first.  Travel wisely.

    Use http://www.dps.state.ok.us/cgi-bin/weathermap.cgi and OK 888-425-2385 AR 800-245-1672 CO 303-639-1111 KS 866-511-5368 MO 800-222-6400 NM 800-432-4269 TX 800-452-9292 to plan your travel.  Do NOT call 911 to ask about slick roads, please.

    Check http://www.srh.noaa.gov/oun/ and your favorite broadcast source for updates through the weekend.

    In summary, expect ice which MAY lead to some power outages in the area.  I have confidence in our City Electric Department.  Bundle up against the wind chill.  Plan your travel well and, if you don't HAVE to go to Braum's at 3 a.m., don't.  Expect this to be a short event compared to the 2010 ice storm.

    Above all, enjoy Thanksgiving with your friends and neighbors as well as celebrate “Good Grief Day”. http://bit.ly/1MEgNkb

    Wednesday, November 25, 2015

    Which fire extinguisher do you use? #OKfire

    In an emergency, a portable fire extinguisher can save lives and property when used to put out a small fire. However, when it comes to extinguishers, one type does not fit all.
    Did you know there are several types of fire extinguishers? Each one is designed to extinguish different kinds of fires:
    • A:  For use with materials like cloth, wood, and paper;
    • A-B-C or B-C: Multi-purpose fire extinguishers best suited for home use. Most home improvement stores carry fire extinguishers that cover class A through class C;
    • B:  For use with combustible and flammable liquids like grease, gasoline, oil and oil-based paints;
    • C:  For use with electrical equipment like appliances, tools, or other equipment that is plugged in;
    • D:  For use with flammable metals like aluminum, magnesium, and titanium; and
    • K:  For use with vegetable oils, animal oils, and fats in cooking appliances.
    Before using an extinguisher, please keep in mind that the U. S. Fire Administration recommends that only people trained in the proper use and maintenance of fire extinguishers consider using them when appropriate! Contact your local fire department for training information.