Officials Plan To Stay Longer To Assess Lincoln County Quake Damage

Tuesday, November 15th 2011, 8:25 pm
By: News 9

Jamie Oberg, News 9

LINCOLN COUNTY, Oklahoma -- The Federal Emergency Management Association, the Small Business Association, state and local officials started the long process of surveying earthquake damage in Lincoln and Pottawatomie counties Tuesday.

Officials who were only planning on a two-day tour plan on being in the state for several days, or as long as it takes to look at some of the more than 400 homes with damage reports after a 5.6 magnitude earthquake on November 5.

One home FEMA will be looking at is Gary Landra's home in Prague. His chimney collapsed inside and outside his home. Debris landed on the ground outside and on his wife's lap inside.

Landra's wife was taken to a hospital in Shawnee and has bruising on her legs, but she is back at work now.

It won't be that quick of a recovery for homeowners in Oklahoma, officials said Tuesday.

"Its way too premature to talk about a Presidential disaster declaration at this time, now we're simply in the gathering process," FEMA Representative, Brad Craine said.

However, Emergency Management for the state seems hopeful since Oklahoma has had to get help from the Federal Government before. Only that was for tornadoes, floods and ice storm. This earthquake business is foreign to almost everyone here.

"We don't have the assistance yet, but we're taking the steps to move forward and hopefully receive it," said Michelann Ooten, Oklahoma's Dept of Emergency Management. "In the meantime, people are encouraged to make the repairs to make it safe, document the damage with pictures if you can and if you have earthquake insurance get reimbursed and talk to your insurance agent."

We asked the FEMA representative if he was hopeful the federal government had the money to lend a hand.

"How they run the money in Washington, it works out for the best sometimes," Craine said.

But he said it is a long process that simply starts with this tour; once the damage assessment is made, the Governor can request a Presidential Disaster Declaration for Oklahoma.

Meanwhile, some homeowners aren't sure what to do after documenting damage. They are not sure if they can afford repairs.

"These are questions I'm sure a lot of people would like to hear about," said Gary Landra, Prague native. "Until things happen and we get a determination on structural damage, we'll just be in limbo."

If you have damage to your properties, call Lincoln County Emergency Management at (405)-258-1258.

FEMA flyers are going up on doorsteps of people who've already reported the damage and want to make an appointment.

News 9's Oklahoma Earthquake Page