State of Oklahoma Requests Federal Major Disaster Declaration for June Storms
July 1, 2023
OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Kevin Stitt today announced the state of Oklahoma has requested a FEMA Major Disaster Declaration for Public Assistance for 19 counties impacted by June 14-18 severe storms.
If approved, the designation will deliver federal funding to assist municipalities, counties, rural electric cooperatives, and others with reimbursements for debris removal, infrastructure and utility repairs, and costs associated with responding to the storms.
The counties included in this request are: Beaver, Cimarron, Comanche, Cotton, Craig, Creek, Delaware, Harper, Jefferson, Love, Major, Mayes, McCurtain, Payne, Pushmataha, Rogers, Stephens, Tulsa, and Woodward.
Additionally, the state submitted a request for a disaster declaration through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to help residents and businesses in Comanche and Tulsa counties with damages from the storms. An SBA declaration will make SBA low interest disaster loans available for homeowners, renters, 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 Comanche and Tulsa counties.
“I applaud the city and county emergency managers, ODEMHS staff, and many others who have worked tirelessly to address damage done by these storms and work to restore power to thousands of Oklahomans,” said Gov. Stitt. “I urge the federal government to quickly approve this declaration to speed up our recovery.”
During a series of storms on June 15-16 and June 17-18, Oklahoma experienced destructive winds up to 100 miles per hour and multiple tornadoes causing power outages for more than 560,000 homes and businesses statewide. In these 19 counties alone, the storms resulted in more than $12.6 million in eligible damages and response costs. Assessments in Comanche and Tulsa counties have identified more than 230 homes and businesses damaged, including 66 with major damage.
Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (ODEMHS) continues to work with FEMA, SBA, and emergency management departments across the state as damage assessments are ongoing. Additional counties may be added to the request at a later date.