Oklahoma seeks federal disaster aid after tornadoes

Reuters News
Posted: May 30, 2011 12:28 PM
Oklahoma seeks federal disaster aid after tornadoes

OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - Governor Mary Fallin has asked the White House to approve a major disaster declaration for seven Oklahoma counties hit hard by tornadoes last week.

Tornadoes killed 10 people, injured 239 and destroyed 439 homes and businesses, according to the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management. Almost 1,100 homes and businesses were damaged, state officials said.

Fallin said in a statement issued late on Sunday that she is seeking aid for Caddo, Canadian, Delaware, Grady, Kingfisher, Logan and McClain counties.

If her request is approved, people who suffered uninsured losses in the seven counties would be eligible for assistance for housing repairs or temporary housing, low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, disaster unemployment assistance and grants for disaster expenses,

On Friday, the White House approved assistance requests for ten Oklahoma counties affected by storms and flooding in April: Adair, Cherokee, Delaware, Haskell, LeFlore, McIntosh, Muskogee, Okmulgee, Pittsburg and Sequoyah.

In those counties, storms that began on April 21 resulted in an estimated $8.6 million in infrastructure damage and response costs, Fallin said.

(Reporting by Steve Olafson. Editing by Peter Bohan)