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Governor Declares State of Emergency after Deadly Tornado Outbreak

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Homes were destroyed in the Deerfield subdivision near S Hiwassee Road and 74th Street in Oklahoma City. Homes were destroyed in the Deerfield subdivision near S Hiwassee Road and 74th Street in Oklahoma City.

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Brad Henry has declared a state of emergency in 56 Oklahoma counties after Monday's deadly tornado outbreak.

Storms ripped across the state causing severe damage and five deaths.

"Lives and property have been lost, and our thoughts and prayers go out to those who are suffering because of these storms," said Gov. Henry in a statement. "As usual, the response of emergency management officials and first responders has been exemplary and we are ready to do whatever it takes to help victims of these storms rebuild and recover."

The governor will take an aerial tour of some of the hardest-hit areas in central Oklahoma and visit with first responders on the ground.

Monday's executive order is the first step toward seeking federal assistance. The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management officials are working on preliminary damage assessments to determine the extent of damages.

The counties included in the state of emergency are: Alfalfa, Atoka, Beaver, Blaine, Bryan, Caddo, Canadian, Carter, Cleveland, Coal, Comanche, Cotton, Craig, Creek, Delaware, Dewey, Ellis, Garfield, Garvin, Grady, Grant, Harper, Haskell, Hughes, Jefferson, Johnston, Kay, Kingfisher, Kiowa, Lincoln, Logan, Love, Marshall, Mayes, McIntosh, McClain, Murray, Muskogee, Noble, Okfuskee, Oklahoma, Okmulgee, Osage, Ottawa, Pawnee, Payne, Pontotoc, Pottawatomie, Rogers, Seminole, Sequoyah, Stephens, Tillman, Tulsa, Washita and Woodward.

Additional counties may be added to the declaration as conditions warrant.

Rep. Tom Cole released the following statement after touring storm-damaged areas in Cleveland and Oklahoma counties:

"Recovery efforts are already well under way in the hardest hit areas. First responders have done a remarkable job, and the utility crews from rural electric co-ops and OG&E should also be commended for their tremendous efforts to restore power to homes and businesses.

"Oklahomans always respond admirably in challenging circumstances, and the accounts of neighbors going out of their way to help each other in the aftermath of these devastating storms demonstrate our state's character once again.

"I've been in close contact with Governor Henry and local officials and will continue to work with state and local leaders to help ensure they have the federal resources needed to rebuild."

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