President Obama Declares Oklahoma A Disaster Area

Wednesday, February 2nd 2011, 11:41 pm
By: News 9

WASHINGTON – President Obama declared Oklahoma a disaster area Wednesday night. The emergency declaration authorizes federal resources to assist state and local governments as they continue to respond to the severe winter storm.

The declaration does not cover the Governor's request for state and local emergency response costs. However, once the actual response costs are compiled the state can request the declaration be amended to included further reimbursement.

"We appreciate the president's prompt action on our request," said Gov. Fallin. "Our emergency management officials will be working with FEMA to secure all eligible assistance warranted by this dangerous storm."

The approval also allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, to "coordinate" disaster relief efforts.

Earlier Wednesday, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin asked the White House to approve the declaration. Fallin declared a state of emergency for all 77 Oklahoma counties on Monday.

Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett and the Board of County Commissioners declared Tulsa County a disaster area Wednesday.

"We Oklahomans are independent, but we also pay taxes to the federal government. Money received for disaster relief will help us stretch the taxpayers' dollars and lessen the impact on county services," said Commissioner Fred Perry, Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners.

More: Gov. Fallin Asks White House To Approve Disaster Declaration