With the application deadline looming, Tulsa County residents have received $8.5 million so far in federal disaster assistance to recover from spring flooding and storms.
Wednesday marks the final day for Oklahoma residents to apply with the Federal Emergency Management Agency for financial help in the wake of severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that took place from May 7 to June 9. The deadline also applies to low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Tulsa County Emergency Management Director Joseph Kralicek on Friday said FEMA has disbursed $8,522,896 in individual assistance in Tulsa County and $29,083,447 in Oklahoma.
There have been 1,220 applications in Tulsa County, of which about 53% were eligible. There have been 5,180 applications submitted in Oklahoma, of which about 41% have been approved.
“We do anticipate those numbers going up between now and the 14th,” Kralicek said.
Federal disaster assistance can include money for rental assistance, essential home repairs, personal property losses and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance, according to a FEMA news release.
Carl Henderson, a FEMA spokesperson, said that often denials are because of insufficient paperwork or documentation. He said those types of issues probably can be rectified to gain some assistance.
“Anyone can register if they feel that they’ve had damage,” Henderson said. “And some people may have had damage to their homes and don’t realize it. It costs nothing to register with FEMA.”
The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management requested and was granted an extra two weeks to give victims more time to update insurance information or find other necessary documents to complete or supplement applications.
Mike McDaniel was impressed with how fast FEMA was able to help him.
Two and a half feet of water flooded McDaniel’s trailer home near Sand Springs. He found asbestos in the 1958 trailer’s walls, so federal disaster assistance dollars went toward an RV instead of a remodel.
He said FEMA helped him write a letter to the agency itself to OK the funds be used for an RV.
“FEMA did an excellent job taking care of me,” McDaniel said, noting that he received advice or suggestions on several follow-up phone calls the agency made to him.
Designated counties for homeowners and renters include: Tulsa, Alfalfa, Canadian, Cherokee, Craig, Creek, Delaware, Garfield, Kay, Kingfisher, LeFlore, Logan, Mayes, Muskogee, Noble, Nowata, Ottawa, Okmulgee, Osage, Pawnee, Payne, Pottawatomie, Rogers, Sequoyah, Wagoner, Washington and Woods.
Lorene Bible on the newly resumed search for her daughter Lauria Bible