Governor requests federal disaster declaration for Oklahoma counties
BY WORLD CAPITOL BUREAU
Monday, August 13, 2012
8/13/12 at 5:47 PM
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Gov. Mary Fallin has requested federal disaster aid for Oklahomans affected by recent wildfires. If approved, the request would deliver individual assistance to residents and business owners in Cleveland, Creek, Oklahoma and Payne counties.
Nearly 680 homes and businesses have been damaged since July 28 as fires burned more than 114,000 acres across the state.
Statewide, 603 homes were destroyed, including 376 in the Creek County fires, the Governor's Office reported Monday. An estimated 85 percent of the homes damaged or destroyed were not insured.
“Thousands of acres have burned, and hundreds of homes have been destroyed in recent weeks as Oklahoma has been hard hit by wildfires,” Fallin said Monday. “If approved, the federal assistance will help residents and business owners get back on their feet.”
If the request for individual assistance is granted, Oklahomans who suffered uninsured or underinsured fire damage in the four counties would be eligible for assistance for housing repairs or temporary housing, U.S. Small Business Administration 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.
Additional counties may be added to the request later should conditions warrant.
A state of emergency remains in place for all 77 Oklahoma counties as declared on July 30 by Fallin due to extreme or exceptional drought conditions. The state of emergency lasts 30 days.
Structures are engulfed in flames near Oklahoma Highways 48 and 38 east of Drumright on Aug. 4. Gov. Mary Fallin has requested federal disaster aid for Cleveland, Creek, Oklahoma and Payne counties because of the devastation wrought by the wildfires. TOM GILBERT/Tulsa World file