Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Aid Sought for Sequoyah County

Sequoyah County is among those Oklahoma counties for which the governor has requested aid from the federal government.

Gov. Mary Fallin on Tuesday announced that Oklahoma has requested a major disaster declaration from the federal government for 18 counties impacted by severe weather that occurred April 28 – May 2.

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 storm.

The counties are Adair, Beaver, Caddo, Cherokee, Cimarron, Craig, Delaware, Haskell, Kiowa, Lincoln, Logan, Mayes, Muskogee, Ottawa, Pittsburg, Sequoyah, Texas and Washita.

The storms caused extensive flooding in eastern and central Oklahoma, and widespread snow and high winds in the Oklahoma Panhandle. Three tornadoes occurred on April 28 and 29, including an EF-1 in Sallisaw and an EF-2 tornado near Cameron. The weather created treacherous travel conditions, road closures and power outages. Damage assessments indicate the storm resulted in more than $12.7 million in infrastructure damage, debris and response costs.

Additional counties may be added to the public assistance declaration request at a later date should conditions warrant.

Fallin also requested a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster declaration for Cherokee and Haskell counties to assist those impacted by the storms and flooding.

The governor’s request would bring SBA low-interest disaster loans for renters, homeowners and business owners to repair or replace any property that was damaged by the flooding and severe storms but was not covered by insurance. The loan program would also be available to assist businesses that sustained economic losses due to the storms. If the request is approved, under SBA rules the assistance would also be available in counties contiguous to Cherokee and Haskell counties.

Damage assessments in Cherokee and Haskell counties found at least 63 homes and businesses impacted, which included 55 homes that sustained major damage or were destroyed.

Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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