Tulsa: July 2013 Archives

Quite a storm last night, wasn't it? We lost a few limbs, but nothing major. The '06 microburst and '07 ice storm took our most vulnerable trees. More nasty weather may be on its way Thursday night after sunset.

The grappler trucks are coming for your yard debris. The City of Tulsa will make one pass around the city beginning on Monday, July 29, 2013, to pick up any curbside branches and limbs. They've asked you to bundle your branches to four-feet lengths if you're able.

A special curbside debris removal operation will begin Monday, July 29, beginning at 8 a.m. and continuing to 5 p.m. on weekdays. Crews will make one pass throughout the city to gather residential tree debris from last night's storm, if it is placed at the curb.

If able, residents should cut tree debris into 4-foot or smaller sections, and place those bundles at the curb for crews to collect. This may speed the process of collection across the city.

If unable, residents must drag limbs to the curb for pickup.

The regular schedule for the collection of bagged greenwaste will be interrupted during this operation, and will only resume once crews have made a full sweep through the entire city.

Crews will use both City of Tulsa greenwaste trucks and grappler trucks to pick up debris. Crews will only pick up debris set at the curb, near the street, where it is easily accessible. Tree debris should not be mixed with other kinds of debris. If there is housing, roofing or structural debris of any kind mixed in, the greenwaste will not be picked up.

Residents are asked to keep parked cars away from debris stacked near the curbs so that grappler trucks can access the debris easily.

The operation will begin on the outer perimeters of the city, working into the center where the storm damage was heaviest. This will allow residents in those areas more time to get greenwaste debris to the curb. Once crews begin working, they will assess the situation and announce an anticipated timeline for pickup as they move inward.

Household refuse and recycling collection will continue as normal.

Tulsans can also take tree and limb debris to the City's greenwaste processing site, 10401 E. 56th St. North, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily at no charge.

Tulsa police officers and firefighters were kept busy from about 11:30 p.m. until after daylight responding to calls related to storms that swept through the Tulsa metropolitan area Tuesday night.

Damage assessment continues this morning even as crews have begun recovery operations.

Crews from the Streets & Stormwater department were called in and began working at 1:30 a.m. to clear tree limbs and other debris from arterial streets. Those crews will continue to clear arterials, then clear lanes of residential streets, then to haul debris away.

Power was out to 100,000 or more customers after the storm and power was lost at many public facilities as well. Traffic engineering crews began at 5 a.m. today placing temporary stop signs at intersections throughout Tulsa where either signals were damaged or were without power. About 100 traffic signals were out of service.

Operators at the Tulsa E-9-1-1 center were overwhelmed with thousands of calls as the storm moved through Tulsa. Tulsa firefighters were battling 8 to 10 house fires at one time during the night, with most of the fires believed to be caused by lightning.

Tulsa Parks were affected by the storms. Loss of power at Parks swimming pools and recreation centers forced closures of pools and summer day camps until power can be restored. The Lacy, McClure, Reed and Central Park recreation centers and the Waterworks studio are closed.

Lacy, McClure, Reed and Whiteside Parks pools had no power.

The Tulsa Garden Center was also closed because of trees blocking driveways.

Tulsa Police were on duty throughout the night patrolling neighborhoods and business areas where power was out and alarm systems were not functioning. Police Chief Chuck Jordan said police officers also helped remove debris from streets.

You can report outages or hazardous conditions to PSO online.

PSO's morning update:

Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO)

Storm Outage Update #1

(NOTE: This e-mail is being sent to PSO employees whose responsibilities include communicating with external audiences such as emergency management officials, local elected officials and state regulatory commissions. Please share the information below with your contacts as appropriate.)

Storm Response Update: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 10:30 a.m.

PSO is dealing with significant weather-related power outages across the Tulsa metropolitan area due to a severe thunderstorm packing 60-80 mph winds that struck in the early morning hours.


Tulsa District

As of 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 24, approximately 93,000 customers in the Tulsa metro area were without electric service. Customer outages are most numerous in the southwestern portion of the metro area.

At present, PSO has approximately 370 line and tree workers focused on restoring power in the Tulsa metro area. An additional 1,030 workers from other AEP companies and other utilities have been requested to support restoration efforts.

At this early stage in the storm recovery PSO is still assessing damage to the electric system while working to make repairs and restore power. Initial assessment found that there are a number of Distribution poles that are damaged along with several Transmission structures. Currently, 93 main feeder lines are out of operation. PSO hopes to complete damage assessment later today.

Also, later today PSO hopes to issue a "global" estimate of when power will be restored to all customers who are able to take power. That initial estimated time for restoration will be updated as the storm recovery work progresses.


  • Customers should prepare for a multi-day power outage and are urged to take necessary steps to ensure their health and safety while PSO works to restore power.
  • For safety's sake, assume that any downed utility line is energized with deadly electric current. Stay away from the line and do not touch it with anything. Report it to PSO at 1-888-216-3523.


We will continue to provide additional information to you as the restoration effort moves forward.

A "snapshot" view of current outages is available anytime at PSOklahoma.com. Go to the Outages and Problems section of the site and click "View Outage Map."

Next Update: 07/24/2013 - Approximately 4:30 p.m.

A story about Tulsan Neil Mavis's ambition to bring the 2024 Summer Olympics to Tulsa made the front page of the Monday, July 1, 2013, New York Times.

Mavis was the Libertarian nominee for the 2nd Congressional District in 2000 and was the only independent candidate in the 2002 1st Congressional District special election. (Mavis was still a Libertarian, but the party had lost its ballot access in Oklahoma because of its poor showing in the 2000 presidential election in the state, so Mavis could only be listed as independent.) In the fall of 2002, Mavis was the Republican nominee for House District 66.

I applaud Mavis's dream of bringing the Olympics to Tulsa without spending tax dollars, although I have my doubts about the feasibility of the plan, or even the desirability of hosting the Olympics. Olympic games tend to leave behind facilities that have no further use after the torch is snuffed. What would Tulsa do with an 80,000 seat stadium after the games are over?

Some of you may be old enough to remember when Colorado voters defeated a bond issue to support the 1976 Winter Olympics, which had been awarded to Denver. Much of the opposition came from residents and conservationists who didn't want the impact of the Olympics on their beloved mountains. The Olympics' backup plan was Innsbruck, Austria, which had hosted the games just 12 years earlier.

Reporter Mary Pilon tries to depict the challenge before Tulsa numerically, but she focuses on City of Tulsa numbers, when Green Country or statewide Oklahoma numbers would be more appropriate. Mavis is right to point out that the Atlanta games extended across Georgia -- sailing was held 200 miles away at Savannah, football (soccer) matches were held all over the South and as far north as RFK stadium, and slalom canoeing was held up in Tennessee's Smoky Mountains. But most of the events were held in Metro Atlanta.

And maybe, in a time of austerity around the world, the International Olympic Committee would consider an Olympiad with fewer live spectators and smaller venues. The Olympic host city simply provides the sound stage for a two-week television spectacular. The people in the stands are incidental.

I had to laugh at Pilon's suggestion that Tulsa has become a sports town. The minor league baseball team does draw pretty well, better most nights than the "major league" WNBA Tulsa Shock.

UPDATE: Dewey Bartlett Jr and the Tulsa Sports Commission (a branch of the Metropolitan Tulsa Metro Regional Chamber of Commerce announced Tuesday, a day after this article appeared in the New York Times, that Tulsa is not competing for the 2024 Olympics. Candidate committees must have the support of the host city's local government, and Mavis had that official designation from Bartlett Jr, even though he wasn't asking for government support to make this happen. They didn't even invite Mavis to the press conference for the announcement. If you're a dreamer, but you're not tight with the Chamber/Bartlett Jr/Taylor crowd, under the bus you go. The only pie-covered face belongs to Bartlett Jr, who made a commitment (see memo below) and backed down from it. Question for the reader: Who yanked Bartlett Jr's chain to back him off his support for the Tulsa 2024 effort?


May 16, 2013, memo from Bartlett Jr designating Neil Mavis as City of Tulsa's representative and authorizing official city business cards:

Dear Mr. Mavis:

On March 19,2013, pursuant to my authority as Mayor, I designated both you and Clay Bird to the United States Olympic Committee ("USOC") as my authorized representatives, and also, designated you as my primary point of contact with the USOC to advance the City of Tulsa's interest in bidding for the 2024 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games. On April 3, 2013, the USOC's Chief Executive Officer acknowledged such designation by informing me that the USOC would "follow-up accordingly with Mr. Mavis on additional information regarding the scope, concept and TOC (International Olympic Committee) technical requirements."

By this letter, I am further designating both you and Clay Bird as the City's ad hoc "2024
Summer Games Exploratory Committee," the membership of which may be expanded in the future, as necessary. Solely with respect to your efforts in advancing the City's interest in 2024 Summer Games bid, you are hereby authorized to utilize the Corporate Seal of the City of Tulsa embossed upon a business card, containing only the language and information, as follows:

Neil Mavis
Office of the Mayor
City of Tulsa Summer Games Exploratory Committee
175 East 2nd Street
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74103
Phone: 918-645-1645
Email: neilmavis@gmail.com

On behalf of the City, I appreciate your efforts to obtain the 2024 Summer Games aod wish you the best of luck regarding your continuing endeavor in this regard.

Best regards,

Dewey F. Bartlett, Jr.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Tulsa category from July 2013.

Tulsa: April 2013 is the previous archive.

Tulsa: August 2013 is the next archive.

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