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Governor Stitt Provides Update, Releases Statement On Storm Recovery Response

Friday, May 10, 2024

Today, Governor Kevin Stitt provided an update and released a statement regarding the state’s ongoing response and recovery to severe and tornadic weather that has devastated communities across Oklahoma.

"I am pleased to announce Osage and Pontotoc counties have been added to Oklahoma’s Federal Disaster Declaration to aid homeowners, renters, and business owners impacted by recent tornadoes and severe storms.

"Our number one priority going into tornado season is the safety of Oklahomans. I’m grateful to our partners in the news media, the National Weather Service, and relevant state agencies who play a huge role in awareness and preparedness for these types of storms.

"I’ve surveyed the damage in Sulphur, Marietta, and Barnsdall, and I’ve seen what our communities are facing. But the Oklahoma Spirit is unbreakable. We should all be inspired by the outpouring of support from other states, neighbors, and fellow Oklahomans who are coming together to pick up the pieces.

"I’m thankful to my colleagues in the Oklahoma Legislature for pledging to allocate the necessary funds to help our communities rebuild and recover. We know that when businesses, homes, and centers of commerce are wiped out, it takes a real toll on the local economy. We remain ready to uplift affected communities in any way we can."

FEMA assistance is now available for Carter, Hughes, Love, Murray, Okmulgee, Osage, and Pontotoc counties. FEMA continues to greenlight requests for assistance expeditiously and additional counties are likely to be submitted for FEMA assistance as damage assessments are completed. At this time, FEMA has completed 170 home inspections, and 147 inspections have been scheduled.

Preliminary damage assessments have been completed for homes and businesses in Carter, Hughes, Love, Murray, Okmulgee, Okfuskee, Osage, Pontotoc, Pottawatomie, and Washita counties. Damage assessments in Kay and Lincoln counties are scheduled for May 9 and May 10, respectively.

Efforts to restore critical infrastructure such as power lines are still underway. State and local authorities are collaborating with PSO, OG&E, and electric co-ops to expedite access to affected areas. Governor Stitt’s emergency declaration lifts regulations for oversized vehicles and suspends size and weight restrictions for emergency relief and power restoration operations.

Donations of any kind are appreciated. However, individual donations of clothing or supplies delivered directly to small, rural communities can present challenges related to storage capacity. Whereas reputable charitable organizations have a more defined infrastructure to disperse aid. The state requests any monetary and tangible donations be directed to voluntary organizations that always come to the aid of Oklahomans, such as the Oklahoma Red CrossOklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief, or the Salvation Army.

Last Modified on May 10, 2024
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