OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- State and local governments and certain nonprofit organizations in seven Oklahoma counties are now eligible for federal financial assistance to help pay for rebuilding road systems, public buildings and certain other property damaged by the tornadoes, severe storms and flooding that occurred May 3-5.
The counties now eligible for the additional assistance are: Canadian, Craig, Grady, Lincoln, Logan, Noble and Oklahoma counties. Canadian, Craig and Noble counties now also are eligible for federal assistance for debris removal and emergency protective measures related to the tornadoes, storms and flooding. The other four counties already had been eligible for that assistance.
The newly declared assistance is in addition to the earlier declaration and amendment that made residents and business owners in the seven counties - and nine other Oklahoma counties -- eligible for disaster aid.
The additional types of help followed a review of new information as requested by the Oklahoma Department of Civil Emergency Management (ODCEM), according to Federal Coordinating Officer Robert E. Hendrix of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
"We will continue making damage assessments in all disaster areas to determine whether more counties might be made eligible for assistance, or whether some counties might be eligible for expanded assistance," said Oklahoma State Coordinating Officer Fred Liebe.
FEMA will pay 100 percent of the cost of debris removal through June 3 in the 16 disaster-declared Oklahoma counties. It also will pay 100 percent of the cost of emergency protective measures local governments took after the storms and tornadoes, through May 7.
The new declaration for the seven counties means that FEMA also will pay 75 percent of the cost to rebuild road systems, public buildings and other public property damaged by the tornadoes, storms and flooding in those counties. Assistance also may be provided to repair or replace facilities owned by certain non-profit organizations that operate educational, utility, medical, emergency, custodial care or other essential governmental services. Liebe said ODCEM will hold briefings for local officials detailing how to apply for the assistance.
Individuals who have suffered damages as a result of the tornadoes, storms and flooding are encouraged to apply for disaster assistance by calling FEMA's toll-free registration number at 800-462-9029. Those with hearing or speech impairments can register by calling 800-462-7585. The telephone numbers will be operational seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (CT) until further notice.