After White House Denies Disaster Assistance for Woodward County; Fallin Asks for SBA Disaster Declaration
Oklahoma City – The White House today denied Gov. Mary Fallin’s request for assistance to aid individuals and businesses in Woodward County that were hard hit by last weekend’s deadly tornado. Gov. Fallin said she is disappointed in the decision, but that the state is continuing to work to bring assistance to those impacted by the storm. She announced today that the state will now request a disaster declaration for Woodward County through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
“Having toured the damage in Woodward, I know firsthand how devastating last week’s tornado was to this community,” Fallin said. “This was a disaster that killed six people and destroyed numerous homes and businesses. It is appropriate and necessary for the federal government to provide the disaster assistance that exists exactly for situations like this one.”
“While I am extremely disappointed by the White House’ decision to deny individual assistance, it is my hope that the community can still receive help from the Small Business Administration. Our request for a declaration from the SBA gives the federal government another opportunity to come to the aid of the many families and businesses who have been the victims of this tornado.”
If approved, an SBA declaration would deliver SBA low interest disaster loans for renters, homeowners and business owners to repair or replace any property damaged by the tornado and severe weather which was not covered by insurance or other assistance programs. The loan program would also be available to assist businesses that sustained economic injury due to the storms. If the request is approved, under SBA rules the assistance would also be available in counties contiguous to Woodward County.
On Wednesday, Gov. Fallin requested a presidential declaration for Woodward County in an attempt to deliver federal aid to those impacted by the tornado that resulted in six deaths and 36 more injured. The twister also damaged 224 homes and businesses, including 73 which were destroyed.