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Office of Governor Brad Henry
State of Oklahoma

State Capitol – Oklahoma City OK 73105

FOR RELEASE – Feb. 13, 2009

Gov. Henry Requests Individual Assistance For Three Counties Devastated by Tornado

Oklahoma City – In the wake of a devastating Feb. 10 tornado that took the lives of eight people, Gov. Brad Henry today is asking the White House to provide individual assistance for three Oklahoma counties that suffered catastrophic damages.

The Governor’s request includes Carter, Logan and Oklahoma counties, but more counties can be added if individual assistance is approved. Earlier this week, Gov. Henry spoke separately with President Obama and U.S. Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, both of whom pledged to help Oklahomans reeling from the disaster.

“I am confident that federal authorities understand the severity of the destruction caused by the recent tornadoes,” Gov. Henry said.“Many Oklahomans have begun the slow and difficult process of recovery. It is essential that they receive all assistance for which they are eligible. The magnitude of damage certainly warrants individual assistance, and I am optimistic that President Obama will act swiftly.”

A tornado in the Carter County town of Lone Grove killed eight people and injured dozens of others. According to the state Department of Emergency Management, storms on Feb. 10 damaged or destroyed more than 300 homes and businesses across Oklahoma.

If the request for individual assistance is approved, Oklahomans who suffered uninsured storm-related damage in those areas 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 are gathering information to request public assistance in impacted counties.


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