Thursday, June 4, 2015
OKLAHOMA CITY - Governor Mary Fallin announced today that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved the state's request for disaster assistance for 10 Oklahoma counties hit hard by flooding, tornadoes, severe storms and straight-line winds. The disaster assistance benefits individuals and business owners affected by severe storms that have occurred since May 5 in Atoka, Bryan, Comanche, Johnston, Kiowa, Le Flore, McClain, McCurtain, Pittsburg, and Pottawatomie counties. Cleveland, Grady and Oklahoma counties have already been approved for Individual Assistance.
The designation makes available federal assistance for housing repairs or temporary housing, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest loans for individuals and businesses to repair or replace damaged property, disaster unemployment assistance, and grants for serious needs and necessary disaster expenses not met by other programs.
Additionally, Fallin and the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) have added nine more counties to the request for Individual Assistance. The counties include Beckham, Caddo, Canadian, Carter, Latimer, Marshall, McIntosh, Seminole, and Wagoner. Still awaiting approval are Okfuskee, Pushmataha, and Tulsa counties, which were requested for Individual Assistance on June 1. If approved, the request would provide aid to individuals and business owners. This brings the total amount of counties under the request for Individual Assistance to 25. Thirteen of those 25 counties have been approved by FEMA for individual assistance so far.
Fallin and OEM have also requested public assistance – for local governments dealing with infrastructure needs – for nine more counties. The counties include: Canadian, Carter, Choctaw, Coal, Le Flore, Love, Murray, Okmulgee and Pottawatomie. If approved, the designation would deliver federal funding to assist municipalities, counties and rural electric cooperatives with infrastructure repairs, debris removal and costs associated with responding to the storms. To date, Fallin and OEM have requested public assistance for 25 total counties.
Fallin stressed that the state plans to add more counties to requests for both individual and public assistance as damage assessments around the state are completed.
“The storms and floods we had in May are a statewide event,” said Fallin. “We are assessing the damage as quickly as we can and we absolutely expect to get more counties added to the list soon.”
Fallin said that, regardless of county, those with storm or flooding damage to their homes or businesses should reach out to FEMA and report their losses.
To apply for disaster assistance, individuals and business owners with damage since May 5 may call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or go online at www.disasterassistance.gov.