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Fallin Asks For Federal Aid For A Dozen More Oklahoma Counties After May Storms

Gov. Mary Fallin visits the flood gates at Grand Lake in northeast Oklahoma.
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Gov. Mary Fallin visits the flood gates at Grand Lake in northeast Oklahoma.

Gov. Mary Fallin requested federal aid Monday for 13 Oklahoma counties affected by May’s severe flooding and tornadoes.

“In the last few weeks, I have met with families whose homes or businesses have been washed away by flooding or severely damaged by storms and tornadoes,” Fallin said in a statement. “Our emergency management officials are working around the clock to complete damage assessments and get those Oklahomans the assistance they need to get back on their feet.”

Tulsa television station KJRH reports Fallin toured storm damage statewide last week, calling the record flooding some of the worst she’s ever seen.

"I was up in northeast Oklahoma down around behind Grand Lake Dam area where they were letting a lot of water out, and it was incredible -- the force of the water that was being let out and how deep and wide it is in areas I've never seen water in, just mainly trickles and streams that are just flooded right now."

The latest request covers Atoka, Bryan, Comance, Johnston, Kiowa, Le Flore, McClain, McCurtain, Okfuskee, Pottawatomie, Pittsburg, Pushmataha, and Tulsa counties. More counties could be added to the request as damage assessments are completed. Authorities have said the process has been slow because in many cases they can’t determine the extent of the devastation until floodwaters recede.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has already approved disaster assistance to residents and business owners in Cleveland, Grady, and Oklahoma counties. The governor has also requested federal aid for municipalities and rural electric cooperatives in 16 counties due to the cost of repairing infrastructure and removing debris.

Fallin encouraged residents to contact FEMA to report flood and storm damage no matter what county they live in, because it makes the assessment process easier.

"If you live in Oklahoma and have suffered storm damages, please report your losses to FEMA," Fallin said. "Doing so will help to support the case for additional federal assistance for the many Oklahoma families and businesses in need."

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Brian Hardzinski is from Flower Mound, Texas and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He began his career at KGOU as a student intern, joining KGOU full time in 2009 as Operations and Public Service Announcement Director. He began regularly hosting Morning Edition in 2014, and became the station's first Digital News Editor in 2015-16. Brian’s work at KGOU has been honored by Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRNDI), the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters, the Oklahoma Associated Press Broadcasters, and local and regional chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists. Brian enjoys competing in triathlons, distance running, playing tennis, and entertaining his rambunctious Boston Terrier, Bucky.
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