WASHINGTON, D.C. -- State officials report the death toll from Monday's deadly tornado outbreak now stands at 43. Thirty eight died in Oklahoma and five in Kansas.
Neither state has confirmed reports of missing people.
FEMA's regional operations center in Denton, Texas (Region VI) Regional Operations Center is operating 24 hours/day. FEMA's regional operations center in Kansas City, Mo. (Region VII) is also operational from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. CDT. An Emergency Support Team has been activated at FEMA Headquarters and is operating two shifts around-the-clock.
Bad weather hampered PDA work yesterday, but very early figures indicate as many as 1,500 houses and other structures were destroyed or severely damaged. Damage assessments should begin in earnest today with what the National Weather Service (NWS) reports will be the first of at least four days with sunny, warm conditions.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) sent a Disaster Medical Assistance Team and a Disaster Mortuary Team with an associated Management Support Team to Oklahoma City.
The Department of Defense is on alert and ready to support disaster operations at the request of the FEMA Regional Director or the disaster's Federal Coordinating Officer. Tinker Air Force Base in southeast Oklahoma City has been designated as the Base Support Installation for support of Federal disaster operations. The U.S. Army's 249 th Engineering Battalion (Prime Power) has sent two platoons (29 people total) to the Oklahoma City area for quick deployment if needed. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers stands ready to assist with debris clearance, removal, disposal and Technical Assistance if requested.
FEMA Director James Lee Witt, Region VI Director Buddy Young, and Gov. Keating toured the disaster area yesterday, accompanied by both Oklahoma Senators and Congressman J.C. Watts, whose district suffered some of the worst damage in Oklahoma City.
The American Red Cross (ARC) operated 10 shelters overnight. Five hundred people took advantage of the shelters last night, down from 1,600 at the height of the storm. The ARC is also providing feeding stations, and has several Emergency Response Vehicles (ERVs) on site or en route to the area. ARC damage assessment teams are also in the field, but were slowed in completing their work yesterday due to the weather.
Power crews from Oklahoma and Texas are on the job attempting to restore electricity to as many as 75,000 customers. Full power restoration is expected in seven to 10 days.