The Tulsa Area Long-Term Recovery Committee of local organizations helping with local flood response met for the first time June 27.

Tulsa Area Emergency Management Agency Director Joe Kralicek attended the meeting and said now that the floodwaters have receded and the initial ‘muck-out’ phase of the recovery process is mostly finished, his agency is preparing to turn the work of recovery over to local organizations for the long-term recovery process.

“After the floodwaters receded, we began short-term recovery operations (including muck-out),” Kralicek said. “We’re about 95 percent through with ‘muck-out’…(the recovery process) is something that’s likely to take years.

He added that damage was widespread across Tulsa County as a result of flooding, tornado-warned storms and straight-line winds throughout May and June.

Federal Emergency Management Agency volunteer organizer Suzanne Simmons stressed the importance of registering for FEMA assistance, about 4,000 people have registered in Oklahoma and a little more than 800 inspections have happened in Tulsa County.

“We’ve been faster than usual with inspections,” Simmons said.

She said it’s also important for people to know they can appeal their eligibility for assistance.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency set up a Disaster Recovery Center at the Case Community Center open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 1050 W. Wekiwa Road. People are available to help with housing assistance, registration for disaster assistance, disaster unemployment assistance, rental assistance, hazard mitigation and more. Representatives from the Small Business Administration are also on hand at the center to help with r business physical disaster loans, economic injury disaster loans and home disaster loans. The deadline to apply to receive financial disaster assistance from the U.S. Small Business Association is July 31.

A major disaster declaration was declared in the area June 1 and, since then, 1,462 individual assistance applications were approved, according to FEMA’s website. A total of 600 structures took on water in Tulsa County, about 300 of which were in the Town and Country neighborhood west of Sand Springs and about 115 of which were in Sand Springs, according to the Tulsa Area Emergency Management Agency.

Rachel Snyder 918-581-8315