OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Oklahoma State Department of Emergency Management (OEM) announce seven Oklahoma counties eligible for Public Assistance authorized under two separate major Presidential declarations.
One declaration includes Public Assistance for the counties of Beaver, Cimarron and Texas for the severe winter storms of December 28-30, 2006. These counties will now be eligible for funding for debris removal; emergency protective measures taken before, during and after the storms to protect public and private property; and utilities such as the repair of water treatment and delivery systems, rural electric cooperatives, and sewage treatment facilities. All counties in Oklahoma are eligible for Hazard Mitigation for this declaration.
Under the second declaration, for the severe winter storms of Jan. 12-26, 2007, the counties of Delaware, McIntosh, Muskogee and Pittsburg are eligible for reimbursement of costs for debris removal; emergency measures; repair to roads and bridges; repair to irrigations systems and pumping facilities; repair of water treatment and delivery system; repair of rural electric cooperatives; and repair and restoration of parks and playgrounds; and other infrastructure-related costs. Preliminary Damage Assessments continue in other counties which may be added at a later date. Hazard Mitigation is also available for the counties of Adair, Atoka, Bryan, Cherokee, Choctaw, Coal, Cotton, Craig, Delaware, Haskell, Hughes, Johnston, Latimer, Mayes, McIntosh, Muskogee, Okfuskee, Okmulgee, Ottawa, Pittsburg, Seminole, Sequoyah and Wagoner.
“Ensuring that vital community services and infrastructure are restored as quickly as possible is part of our continuing commitment to help achieve a full and lasting recovery,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Kenneth Clark. “In addition, Public Assistance funds will help many communities with the expensive cost of debris removal.”
The assistance was approved following a review of damage data gathered by federal and state disaster recovery officials and will assist governments with storm expenses. Affected local governments in the declared counties are eligible to apply for federal funds to pay 75 percent of the approved cost.
“Procedures for requesting the assistance will be explained at a series of applicant briefings for local officials,” said OEM Deputy Director and State Coordinating Officer Fred Liebe. “The locations of these meetings will be announced shortly.”
Preliminary damage assessments continue for individual assistance and thus far the State assessment line has taken nearly 2,000 calls. Those who wish to report storm damage can call the assessment line at 877-628-5297 between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident, initiates mitigation activities and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA works closely with state and local emergency managers, law enforcement personnel, firefighters and other first responders. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003