The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

February 26, 2013

Outages, accidents keep 911 responders busy in blizzard

ENID, Okla. — As the second blizzard in a week struck the Enid area, calls began pouring into the Enid and Garfield County 911 Center.

At the height of the storm, between 6:30 p.m. Monday and 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, the center received 64 calls concerning power lines and 167 calls involving electricity.

Enid Police Department also responded to two non-injury accidents and two hit-and-run accidents. There also were 10 calls of fire alarms in that time period.

Two structure fires were reported in Enid, and others in the county. The center received 14 medical calls and took 10 calls for stuck vehicles or motorist assists.

During that time, 18 business or home police alarms were activated, and police were asked to conduct four welfare checks.

“It’s obvious by the numbers we were very busy during the peak of the storm,” Enid Police Department Capt. Jack Morris said. “Those officers working did an excellent job of keeping up with everything and assisting as the calls came in.”

Before the storm hit, between 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday, a single call was received at 4:45 p.m. concerning a power line. There were no 911 calls involving electricity.

There were reports of four non-injury accidents and three injury accidents in Enid, and another two injury accidents in the county.

There was a single fire alarm during that period, and no reports of structure fires. Three medical calls were dispatched, and four business or home police alarms sounded.

Police were asked to help 10 struck vehicles or motorist assists and conduct a single welfare check.

Following the storm, from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, the center received 14 calls concerning power lines and 13 911 calls involving electricity.

There were reports of six non-injury accidents and a single injury accident. No hit-and-run accidents were reported. Two fire alarms sounded, along with 12 business or home police alarms.

Fire departments were dispatched to three fire calls in the county. There were no fire calls in Enid.

Police were sent on five calls of stuck vehicles or motorist assists. Officers also were asked to conduct five welfare checks. The 911 center also dispatched eight medical calls.

Morris said police were discouraging against unnecessary travel.

“A lot of the main roads are not bad, but people are getting stuck on back roads,” he said. “I would discourage travel until more of the snow melts.”

Garfield County Sheriff Jerry Niles said deputies were out all night on patrol and blocking roads.

Deputies were out on U.S. 81 north of Waukomis after the road was closed for downed power lines across the highway. Deputies also assisted a railroad crew in the 8400 block of East U.S. 412.

An accident Monday took out one of the control arms and a signal, and deputies were on scene as the crew resets the signal.

“We’ve kept pretty busy,” Niles said.

He said drivers need to be observant and slow down if they have to travel at all until the snow clears.

“When they see downed power poles there is a good possibility of downed lines on the road,” he said. “We’ve had several instances, in the city and out in the county, of vehicles getting caught in power lines and the wires that hold up power poles.”

He said drivers should not drive over downed lines. Instead, they should be reported.

“Turn around and find an alternative route,” Niles said.

Depending upon overnight temperatures, motorists could face hazardous road conditions this morning.

“If the temperature gets below freezing what has melted turns to ice and can be very dangerous,” Morris said. “If you don’t have to get out, stay at home.”

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