Gov. Henry Declares State of Emergency

Friday, April 10th 2009, 1:03 pm
By: News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Gov. Brad Henry has declared a State of Emergency for 31 counties impacted by Thursday's wildfires and severe weather.

"Our firefighters and first responders have done an outstanding job in the face of daunting fires, and these brave men and women have our heartfelt gratitude. They are true heroes," Gov. Henry said. "But there is much more to do, and the State of Oklahoma will do everything in its power to ensure help for those people who need it most."

Counties included in the executive order are: Beckham, Blaine, Caddo, Canadian, Carter, Cleveland, Comanche, Cotton, Custer, Garvin, Grady, Greer, Harmon, Jackson, Jefferson, Kay, Kiowa, LeFlore, Lincoln, Logan, Love, McClain, Murray, Okfuskee, Oklahoma, Payne, Pontotoc, Pottawatomie, Stephens, Tillman and Washita. LeFlore County is included because of damages sustained from a tornado and severe storms. More counties can be added to the order as additional information becomes available.

Gov. Henry will get a firsthand look at some of the damage caused by yesterday's devastating wildfires. The Governor is planning to meet with first responders in Midwest City this afternoon, and then tour one of the neighborhoods where homes were destroyed.

Right now the state department of emergency management is reporting 100 structures were burned in Oklahoma County, about 50 of them being actual homes.

Statewide, officials say, more than 100 homes were destroyed and 49 people were injured. They report only two of the injuries being serious.

Joining Gov. Henry on his tour will be the State Director of Emergency Management, Albert Ashwood, and Terry Peach, the Governor's Secretary of Agriculture.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the scores of families and individuals who lost homes or businesses as a result of the wildfires. But Oklahomans come together in times of crisis and do what is needed to overcome hardship, and that resolve will serve us again."