Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin announced during a news conference Thursday morning that she has declared a State of Emergency for 25 counties in Oklahoma, after severe storm tore through the state Wednesday evening.
Thursday morning, Governor Mary Fallin, along with state emergency management and local officials, surveyed damage caused by tornadoes Wednesday evening in Moore. The Governor will also survey tornado damage near Sand Springs.
The governor held a news conference at 9 a.m. at Southgate Elementary School, which was heavily damaged by Wednesday evening's storms. She was joined by the Mayor of Moore Glenn Lewis, Oklahoma Emergency Management Director Albert Ashwood and Moore Public Schools Superintendent Robert Romines,
During the conference, the governor announced that she has declared a State of Emergency for 25 Oklahoma counties affected by the storms, which will allow the State to begin the process of assessing the damage, and to see if those affected qualify for any federal assistance.
The counties included in the governor's declaration are: Caddo, Canadian, Carter, Cleveland, Comanche, Creek, Garvin, Grady, Lincoln, Logan, Love, McClain, Murray, Oklahoma, Osage, Pawnee, Payne, Pontotoc, Rogers, Seminole, Stephens, Tulsa, Wagoner, Washington and Washita.
“Last night's storms led to wide-spread damage throughout a large portion of the state,” said Fallin. “I appreciate the ongoing work of our first responders who have been working through the night to assist those in need. I also offer my continued thoughts and prayers to all those affected by the storms.”
The storms resulted in at least one death reported near Sand Springs and multiple injuries.
Under the executive order, state agencies can make emergency purchases and acquisitions needed to expedite the delivery of resources to local jurisdictions. The declaration also marks a first step toward seeking federal assistance should it be necessary.
The declaration can be amended to add additional counties if conditions warrant.
Mayor Lewis said emergency crews have already started the clean up process.
Superintendent Romines said all schools in Moore will be examined to make sure the buildings are safe.
The governor will hold another news conference in Sand Springs Thursday afternoon. During the 2:30 p.m. conference at River Oaks Mobile Home Park, the governor will be joined by Oklahoma Emergency Management Director Albert Ashwood, Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak and Tulsa County and Sand Springs officials along with Sand Springs first responders.