Weather and Climate

Drought
1:01 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Altus Awards Contract To Find New Water Source

The Tom Steed Reservoir has served as Altus' primary water source since the 1970s.
Credit gmeador / Flickr Creative Commons

Altus leaders have approved a $109,000 contract for a Texas firm to seek additional water sources for the city. 

The city wants a new source to reduce its dependence on the Tom Steed Reservoir in Kiowa County, which has served as the city's primary water source since the 1970s. The Lawton Constitution reports the city has implemented water-use restrictions because of dropping lake levels.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
11:04 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Some Shelterless Oklahoma Schools To Cancel Class When Tornados Threaten

Mara Crew's father, Jesse, says he'd prefer Tulsa-area schools install storm shelters instead of closing doors for "tornado days" during severe weather.
Credit Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Of the many ideas for changes to state policy following May’s deadly tornado outbreak —changing building codes to make public structures safer, requiring shelters in new school buildings, providing money to upgrade schools without shelters — the one that has the best chance of actually happening is ‘tornado days.’

Local superintendents don’t need any approval to cancel school in the winter— or spring, when sunny weather can quickly turn violent.


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Weather and Climate
6:52 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Need Help With Paying Your Cooling Bills?

The Oklahoma Department of Human Services will soon begin  taking applications to help low-income households pay their cooling bills this  summer. The agency announced it would begin taking applications Tuesday.

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Gardening
3:14 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

How To Garden In Drought And Heat

A volunteer at the USDA People's Garden tends to garlic. (Lance Cheung/USDA)

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 2:27 pm

With much of the country under drought conditions and temperatures soaring in the rest of the country, what is a backyard gardener to do?

Ahmed Hassan is a professional landscaper and former host of Turf Wars and Yard Crashers on the DIY network and HGTV. Hassan told Here & Now that the most important things to think about when prepping your garden for drought are the type of plants you use and how you treat your soil.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
6:33 am
Sun July 7, 2013

Moore Officials Delay Vote on Upgrading Building Codes for Tornadoes

Civil engineer Tim Marshall says many of the homes destroyed by the May 20 Moore tornado were nailed to foundation slabs and weren't bolted down.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Moore City Council on Tuesday delayed a vote on an ordinance that would strengthen construction standards to help reduce damage from tornadoes.

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Environment
12:55 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

With Rising Temperatures, Infrastructure Falters

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Exactly a year ago this week, a video on YouTube went viral. It was called "Heat Buckles Highway, SUV Goes Airborne." A road in Wisconsin buckled so badly from the heat that it sent cars flying. Well, this year, the buckling continues. But if you're in certain parts of the country, you don't need me to tell you that. It's hot, and I'm not going to use that but-it's-a-dry-heat line, either.

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GRDA
10:11 am
Fri July 5, 2013

Grand Lake Level To Drop In August

Grand Lake O' the Cherokees
Credit GRDA

Federal regulators have turned down a request to keep the water level up at Grand Lake through the Labor Day holiday.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission told the Grand River Dam Authority that a three-foot drawdown scheduled for August will go on as planned.

The Tulsa World reports that landowners and businesses wanted the lake level to stay up through Labor Day weekend so more people can use the lake.

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8:12 am
Wed July 3, 2013

At OU's Journalism School, Tornado Coverage Hits Home

Lead in text: 
When the sky went black with the May 20 Moore tornado, The University of Oklahoma's Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication students, professors, and alumni immediately converged on the area of destruction in OU’s backyard in order to cover the overwhelming story and help get information out to an anxious public.
When the sky went black with the May 20 Moore tornado, Gaylord College students, professors, and alumni immediately converged on the area of destruction in OU's backyard in order to cover the overwhelming story and help get information out to an anxious public.
May 2013 Tornadoes
9:43 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Moore Council Tables Proposal On Storm Shelters

Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Moore City Council has tabled a proposal that would have required storm shelters for houses, apartments, mobile homes and group residential housing.

Also Monday, the council delayed voting on a measure that would have required bolting and fastening to strengthen homes against tornadoes. The Norman Transcript reports Mayor Glenn Lewis says the city will meet with local builders before moving forward with the ordinances.

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May 2013 Tornadoes
7:14 am
Mon July 1, 2013

FEMA Approves More Aid, Already Tops $25 Million

Gov. Mary Fallin meets with members of the Newcastle Fire Department on Friday June 28, 2013
Credit GovMaryFallin / Twitter

Gov. Mary Fallin says the Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved public assistance for 16 counties hit by May storms that brought tornadoes and flooding to Oklahoma.

Fallin said FEMA approved the request on Friday that she submitted Wednesday.

The storms caused an estimated $40 million in uninsured infrastructure losses, and debris removal and response costs.

FEMA says disaster assistance for the state now tops $25 million dollars.

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