OKLAHOMA REQUESTS FEMA’S PUBLIC ASSISTANCE FOR JUNE STORMS
News 6 - July 5, 2023 6:52 am
Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt
TULSA, Okla. –
Tulsa Area Emergency Management said about 1,000 houses across Tulsa have damage from the severe winds.
With trees still resting on roofs weeks later, it is clear cleanup is just beginning.
“We’re talking hundreds and hundreds of homes that were impacted in some shape, form or fashion,” TAEM Executive Director Joe Kralicek said.
Kralicek explained while the damage is widespread, it is not quite enough to get FEMA’s attention, when it comes to helping individuals.
“They like to see a certain number of destroyed homes. And unfortunately we don’t have a large number of destroyed homes,” he said. “What we have is damage that is very wide but it’s also comparatively shallow to what FEMA looks for when it comes to a disaster.”
The state requested a Major Disaster Declaration for Public Assistance from FEMA. Earl Armstrong with FEMA Public Affairs said any federal dollars approved, would be for uninsured or underinsured losses.
“What that means is assistance for things like reimbursements for utility repairs, maybe some roads got damaged, some buildings got damaged, maybe some electric cooperatives got damaged. Reimbursements to bring the system back online,” Armstrong said.
The governor also requested help from the Small Business Association, which, if approved, could help homeowners, renters and businesses get loans.
Once FEMA has processed the request at the regional level, it heads to Washington for a signature from the President. FEMA said the whole process could take days or a couple of weeks.