Lt. Governor Todd Lamb Tours Cushing Earthquake Damage
CUSHING, Oklahoma - Five days after a 5.0 earthquake struck Cushing, recovery efforts are still underway and Lt. Governor Todd Lamb visited the town for a tour of the damage.
Lamb says he saw more damage in Cushing than when he toured Pawnee after the largest earthquake in Oklahoma history this September.
Three and a half blocks are still closed to traffic compared to 15 blocks immediately following Sunday’s earthquake. Broken glass and fallen bricks still litter the ground, but the crews have assessed the buildings and clean up has begun. Cushing city manager Steve Spears says, “We’ve determined the buildings are safe for them to re-enter and to start doing the repairs.”
State and federal emergency management crews examined the reported damage, but walking through town, Lamb wished there was more help they could give. “There’s always a frustrating circumstance when you deal with damage,” says the lieutenant governor, “whether it’s tornado, wildfire, flooding or earthquake, because whether it’s state or federal there’s a threshold.”
Lamb says he tours areas like Cushing after disasters strike because he likes to see what needs to be done so he can help manage the response. “I want to make sure that the state is responsive when the state needs and should be responsive,” he says.
The people who call Cimarron Towers home are still leaning on help from the government and the Red Cross. About 40 people were displaced from the old apartment building after the quake, and still have not been able to return. Spears says, “We’re going to have a crane coming in I think Monday to start removing some of the stuff off the old hotel to make sure it’s safe where we can get that street cleaned up.”
The city is expecting to have most of the debris cleaned up and all streets reopened sometime next week.