OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- Five counties have been added to the disaster declaration issued by President Clinton on May 4. The addition, sought by Gov. Frank Keating, makes a total of 16 Oklahoma counties eligible for state and federal programs available to individuals, businesses and communities who suffered damage or loss from the tornadoes, severe storms and flooding May 3-5.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is extending the time period till June 3 for 100 percent federal funding of approved debris removal. Federal assistance for emergency protection services to federal, state and local governments, at 100 percent, remains May 7.
The five counties, Canadian, Craig, La Flore, Ottawa and Noble, were added after FEMA reviewed damage assessment information submitted by the Oklahoma Department of Civil Emergency Management (ODCEM). "If damage assessment figures come in from other counties and the state, FEMA will review adding more counties and additional federal programs to the declaration," Robert E. Hendrix, federal coordinating officer, said in making the announcement.
A toll-free application telephone number is operational for all declared counties affected by the disaster who suffered property damage or loss. This number can be used to apply for a wide range of state and federal disaster recovery programs such as funding for disaster housing assistance which provides grants for emergency home repairs, rental housing and mortgage or rental assistance, U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA)ow-interest loans for homeowners, renters and non-farm businesses to repair or replace damaged property, disaster unemployment assistance, and grants for serious needs and necessary expenses not met by other programs.
Hendrix said those affected may apply for assistance immediately by calling the toll-free registration number, 1-800-462-9029, between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. (CT) seven days a week, until further notice. Those with a speech or hearing impairment may call a special TTY number at 1-800-462-7585.
"Phone-in application has proven to be the simplest, quickest and most efficient way to apply. Your phone call is your application for state and federal assistance available under the disaster declaration," said Fred Liebe, state coordinating officer of the ODCEM.