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Oklahoma City workers assesses damage from May 6 storm as new rains fall in city area

Edgemere Creek runs high during the severe rain storm of May 8, 2015 in the Crown Heights/Edgemere District of Oklahoma City.  Photo by Ryan Kiesel.
Edgemere Creek runs high during the severe rain storm of May 8, 2015 in the Crown Heights/Edgemere District of Oklahoma City. Photo by Ryan Kiesel.

Staff Report

Here is an “Oklahoma City Situation Update: received from the local government the afternoon of Saturday, May 9.

Emergency crews are watching the latest wave of thunderstorms in Oklahoma City this afternoon, and a preliminary damage assessment shows 812 structures and recreational vehicles were destroyed, damaged or otherwise affected by the May 6 storms.

The main threat with this afternoon’s storms is flash floods, according to the National Weather Service. Ponding and minor slow drainage is affecting traffic on Oklahoma City roadways with the surrounding landscape saturated with recent rain.

Beware of the threat of flash flooding, and never drive into a flooded area. Only six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet.

May 6 preliminary damage assessment

The preliminary damage assessment from the May 6 storms surveyed a 70-square mile area of south Oklahoma City in the wake of a tornado, floods, hail and damaging winds.

The final numbers are likely to change as the assessment is finalized.
The preliminary damage assessment shows:

·        96 buildings/recreational vehicles destroyed
o   3 businesses
o   86 mobile homes (including 68 recreational vehicles)
o   6 single-family residences
o   1 public building (Maranatha Assembly of God, 5600 S Eastern Ave.)
·        76 buildings with major damage
o   6 apartment buildings
o   11 businesses
o   23 mobile homes
o   36 single-family residences
·        103 buildings with minor damage
o   11 businesses
o   17 mobile homes
o   75 single-family residences
·        537 buildings affected
o   37 businesses
o   116 mobile homes
o   2 public buildings
o   382 single-family residences

Teams spotted storm debris at an additional 50 locations.

The preliminary damage assessment is an early step toward an eventual request for disaster relief funds.

Road closures as of 3:30 p.m. Saturday (this list does not include Police closures)
·        S Council Road between SW 112 and SW 119
·        SW 29 and S Sara Road
·        N Midwest Boulevard from NE 50 to NE 63
·        S Hiawassee Road from SE 74 to SE 89
·        SW 44 and S Morgan Road
·        S Santa Fe Avenue from SE 28 to SE 27

Shelter, social services and assistance

The American Red Cross of Central Oklahoma is operating a shelter at Santa María Virgen Episcopal Church, 5500 S Western Ave., to provide a shelter and access to services for people affected by Wednesday’s storms. Staff members speak English and Spanish.

The Oklahoma City Animal Shelter is providing services for the pets of people using the Red Cross shelter.

For more information on the Red Cross shelter, call the Red Cross at 405-228-9500. Information about access to social services is available by calling 211.

People needing assistance with debris removal, minor repairs and minor tarp placement can visit to ask for help from Serve Moore. People can also sign up to volunteer. Serve Moore, which serves south Oklahoma City and other parts of the metro, is collaborative effort of local churches.

How to help

Cash contributions to the disaster relief organization of your choice working here in Oklahoma are the most sensible and efficient way of helping those in need. Not only do monetary contributions keep the money in our community, but they also help organizations more precisely meet the needs of survivors.

Responding organizations often spend the money in the disaster area, which helps our economy recover.

Cash donations, rather than unsolicited donated items, helps Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD) avoid the complicated, costly and time-consuming process of collecting, sorting and distributing those items.

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