Weather and Climate

StateImpact Oklahoma
9:37 am
Tue October 7, 2014

Drought And Conservation Driving Water Contamination In Duncan

Duncan Public Works Director Scott Vaughn
Logan Layden StateImpact Oklahoma

Duncan’s water supplies are already in bad shape because of the drought. Lake Waurika — Duncan’s main water source — is only about 32 percent full, and city officials are beginning to look toward groundwater as a lake levels continue to drop.

And if it weren’t enough for water supplies to be stretched to their limits, now the water itself is contaminated.

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Weather and Climate
8:31 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Dry September Diminishes Drought Recovery

After four years of drought, municipal water storage in in Altus-Lugert lake has dropped to about 10 percent.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

A drier than normal September has diminished drought recovery in Oklahoma, and weather experts say the dry pattern will continue through October.

Preliminary figures from the Oklahoma Mesonet show the statewide average rainfall total was 2.6 inches — 1.3 inches below normal and the 46th driest September since record-keeping began in 1895.

August and September combined for a statewide average of 3.9 inches — 2.6 inches below normal and the 22nd driest August-September period on record.

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Oklahoma Tornado Project
7:10 am
Mon September 29, 2014

School Shelter Advocacy Group Puts Forth "Last Ditch Effort" For Signatures

David Slane and Danni Legg (center) ask the public for petition signatures as a "last ditch effort" to get a school safe room issue on a future ballot.
Kate Carlton Greer Oklahoma Tornado Project

A group that wants storm shelters in every Oklahoma school has spent the last 90 days gathering signatures to get its initiative petition on the ballot. Take Shelter Oklahoma is still tens of thousands of signatures short of the required amount, but  proponents now have more time than they originally thought. 

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Oklahoma Tornado Project
7:30 am
Mon September 22, 2014

United Way Tornado Donations Rebuild Homes And Promote Physical, Mental Health

Ben and Kristen Jones stand on their empty lot that Rebuilding Together OKC is building using United Way tornado donations.
Kate Carlton Greer Oklahoma Tornado Project

In the wake of last year’s devastating tornadoes, millions of dollars in donations went to The United Way of Central Oklahoma. The non-profit organization also agreed to administer Governor Mary Fallin’s Oklahoma Strong tornado relief campaign. Together, the funds raised a total of $20 million. 

One week after the tornado hit the city of Moore in May of 2013, country singer Blake Shelton showed up to host a benefit concert called Healing in the Heartland.

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Oklahoma Tornado Project
6:42 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Moore's Rush To Rebuild Left Hundreds Of Homes With A Lesser Building Code

The City of Moore's Shane Speegle inspects one home that is subject to the city's newer, more stringent building code.
Kate Carlton Greer Oklahoma Tornado Project

This March, Moore, Oklahoma became the first city in the nation to adopt a tornado-specific building code. City officials wanted homes to be able to withstand an EF-2 or EF-3 tornado.

But six months after the new regulations took effect, it turns out not all new homes built in the tornado’s path will have these upgrades.

Last week, on a block near Moore’s rebuilt Plaza Towers Elementary School, city official Shane Speegle walked through one house that had just been framed to check the progress.

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Deadline To Apply Nov. 26
1:26 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

$1.5 Million In Grant Money Available For Water Conservation Projects

Credit Vicki / Flickr.com

Oklahoma officials say $1.5 million in drought grants is available for projects that highlight the responsible use of water.

The grants are capped at $500,000 each, and the deadline for application is Nov. 26. Gov. Mary Fallin says the responsible use of water is the most effective and immediate way to prevent future water shortages in Oklahoma.

According to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor, about 85 percent of Oklahoma is experiencing some form of drought, with the driest conditions occurring in the southwest and the Panhandle.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
8:37 am
Thu September 11, 2014

Drought-Stricken Southwest Oklahoma Towns Look For More Water Underground

After four years of drought, municipal water storage in in Altus-Lugert lake has dropped to about 10 percent.
Joe Wertz StateImpact Oklahoma

Water supplies in southwest Oklahoma are in danger of drying up as four years of drought drag lake levels to record lows. Some communities are scrambling to supplement their current water sources, while others look for new sources — in Texas.

Estimates say Duncan’s main water source — Lake Waurika — could be too low to use by 2016.

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Oklahoma Tornado Project
6:42 am
Mon September 8, 2014

Insurance Increase: Homeowners' Premiums Skyrocket After Oklahoma's 2013 Tornadoes

StateFarm Flickr Creative Commons

After a series of severe storms swept through the state in May of last year, insurance carriers paid out over $1 billion in claims, making it the nation’s most costly disaster of 2013.

Most insurance issues have now been settled, but many homeowners are looking at higher rates than they were paying before the storm.

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Weather and Climate
9:03 am
Tue September 2, 2014

Storms Roll Through Oklahoma With Hail, High Winds

High wind damage Tuesday morning in Bartlesville.
Kurt Gwartney Eastern Oklahoma Region American Red Cross

Classes are canceled in Bartlesville after severe storms swept through the area, knocking out electricity to many areas of the northern Oklahoma city.

The Monday storms also downed tree limbs and power lines in Craig, Osage and Nowata counties. No injuries have been reported.

Bartlesville Public Schools officials say classes are canceled Tuesday at all campuses because of the power outages.

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Oklahoma Tornado Project
7:33 am
Tue September 2, 2014

Without FEMA Funds, Numerous Oklahoma Counties Sit On Expired Disaster Plans

Grady County's emergency manager Dale Thompson is in charge of updating a county-wide hazard mitigation plan, identifying each hazard the area faces.
Kate Carlton Greer Oklahoma Tornado Project

With threats ranging from ice storms to tornadoes, Oklahoma ranks first in the nation in the number of presidentially declared disasters over the past 14 years.

That’s why the state says it's important for local officials to maintain hazard mitigation plans, explaining the steps they're taking to reduce or eliminate their risks. But keeping things up-to-date has proven tough. 

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