Damage from severe weather in Oklahoma in May could top $150 million

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 02, 2015 6:27 PM

By Heide Brandes

OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - Damage from tornadoes, floods and severe storms in Oklahoma in May that killed at least six people and damaged hundreds of structures could top $150 million, state Emergency Management Director Albert Ashwood said on Tuesday.

The severe weather that brought tornadoes at the start of the month and floods at the end caused $13 million in damage on the state’s roads, bridges and other infrastructure, Ashwood told a news conference.

Seventy of the 77 counties in the state reported storm-related damage.

Governor Mary Fallin, a Republican, has asked for a presidential disaster declaration for parts of the state, which would free up federal funds to help rebuild from storms that left paths of destruction.

“It’s the worst I’ve seen,” Fallin said at the same news conference, in regard to the flooding.

"It's been a very challenging week for all of our emergency responders and state offices because there are just so many counties that we have to cover. But we will get through this."

Oklahoma may have up to 50 counties that qualify for federal assistance, said Ashwood.

The state, which has an economy estimated at about $165 billion a year, is a major energy and agricultural producer.

(Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Peter Cooney)