Governor Asks for Federal Diaster Declaration Over December Storms

Whether they were working the wind farms of northwestern Oklahoma, the oil and gas fields throughout the state or even the coal-producing areas of southeastern Oklahoma, workers felt the cold brunt of the winter storms that included ice, sleet, snow and flooding the day after Christmas. Now Governor Mary Fallin says she’s requested a major disaster declaration from the federal government related to the storm.

She’s asked individual assistance for homeowners, renters and business owners in nine counties as well as public assistance to aid municipalities, counties, rural electric cooperatives and the state with infrastructure repairs and costs associated with responding to the storm in 41 counties.

Governor Fallin said the nine counties included in her request for individual assistance are: Adair, Cherokee, Delaware, Mayes, McCurtain, Muskogee, Ottawa, Pushmataha and Sequoyah—all counties where there was record disastrous flooding.

Forty-one counties are included in the governor’s request for public assistance, largely because of flooding as well as ice and snow that knocked out electrical power to tens of thousands of utility customers. Those counties are: Adair, Alfalfa, Beckham, Blaine, Caddo, Canadian, Cherokee, Coal, Comanche, Cotton, Craig, Custer, Delaware, Dewey, Grady, Grant, Greer, Harmon, Haskell, Hughes, Jackson, Kay, Kingfisher, Kiowa, Latimer, McCurtain, McIntosh, Major, Mayes, Muskogee, Noble, Okfuskee, Okmulgee, Osage, Pittsburg, Pushmataha, Roger Mills, Sequoyah, Tilman, Washita and Woods.

In announcing the request, the governor said damage assessments showed 108 homes were destroyed and 99 others damaged because of the storms. An estimated $48 million in infrastrucutre damages and response costs have been identified in the counties. The storm resulted in power outages for more than 200,000 homes and businesses statewide, numerous rroad closures and dangerous travel conditions. At least four deaths were attributed to the severe weather along with 104 injuries.


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