Office of Governor Brad Henry
State of Oklahoma
State Capitol – Oklahoma City OK 73105
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 4/22/2009
Gov. Henry Requests Federal Assistance for 9 Counties in Wake of April 9 Wildfires
Oklahoma City – Gov. Henry Brad today requested federal disaster aid for Oklahomans impacted by recent wildfires. If approved by the White House, the request would deliver individual assistance to residents and business owners in Carter, Cleveland, Grady, Lincoln, McClain, Murray, Oklahoma, Payne and Stephens counties.
Nearly 270 homes and businesses were damaged beginning April 9 as fires burned more than 100,000 acres across the state. This includes 228 homes that were destroyed.
“The wildfires caused significant damage and hardship in communities throughout the state,” Gov. Henry said. “There are many families and individuals who have a long and challenging road ahead of them, and it is important they have all assistance for which they are eligible. I am confident the White House will move swiftly in this request.”
If the request for individual assistance is granted, Oklahomans who suffered uninsured fire damage in the nine counties would be eligible for assistance for housing repairs or temporary housing, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest loans for individuals and businesses to repair or replace damaged property, disaster unemployment assistance and grants for serious needs and necessary disaster expenses not met by other programs.
As damage to homes and businesses is confirmed for other areas of the state, Gov. Henry said he will request that other counties be added to the declaration as conditions warrant. In the meantime, emergency management officials continue to work five fire management assistance grants (FMAGs) secured to assist with response costs associated with the fires.