State Leaders, FEMA Director Tour Damage In Marietta

Governor Kevin Stitt, Senator James Langford (R-Okla.), and FEMA director Deanne Criswell traveled to Marietta Tuesday morning to tour the area and assess damages, and will now work with President Biden to get federal funding and resources to the areas across the state that were impacted by this weekend’s storms.

Tuesday, April 30th 2024, 5:02 pm

By: News 9, Haley Weger


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Governor Kevin Stitt, Senator James Langford (R-Okla.), and FEMA director Deanne Criswell traveled to Marietta Tuesday morning to tour the area and assess damages, and will now work with President Biden to get federal funding and resources to the areas across the state that were impacted by this weekend’s storms.

“First off on behalf of the President we just want to say our heart aches for the loss of life and the impacts these communities have experienced from these multiple tornadoes that went across your state,” said Criswell.

Gov. Stitt and his team have traveled to Sulphur, Holdenville and now Marietta, meeting with Oklahomans.

“We're going to do whatever we can as a state and a federal government to put the state back together,” said Gov. Stitt.

“I'm here today to work with the Governor and his staff to assess what the impacts are as he puts together a request to the President for additional federal support,” said Criswell.

Once she has assessed the damages and financial impact, Criswell will take the information back to President Biden, to get a full report and funding back to Oklahoma.

“For this community, it's essential to not only get back up and get going quickly, but for all the people that were employed here it's important for all of their families,” said Lankford.

“As we always try to be able to say this is the ‘Oklahoma standard’ where neighbors are helping neighbors,” said Lankford.

One of the biggest buildings in Marietta, the Dollar General distribution center, is one of the main points of damage. Gov. Stitt says 11 people were inside the center during the storm and had to take shelter, but luckily none of them were hurt. 

In addition, a Homeland Grocery store was completely torn apart, and several homes and local businesses were damaged. “It's just devastating, heartbreaking. I don't know how else to describe it,” said Jake Boness, a volunteer helping clean up the damage and debris.

Jake is helping clean up the home of a family friend, whose roof was torn off, and her home severely damaged.

Amber Czisny was sitting on her couch when the storm began. She moved to a safe spot just moments before the storm hit her house. “He peeked around the corner, the lightning flashed and he saw it and said run,” said Czisny.” “We just made it, three two one, then it hit,” said Czisny.

Amber rode out the storm in her bathroom, which is now the only room in the house untouched. ”Most of it's pretty destroyed, the bathroom they stayed in is about the only room that didn’t take any damage,” said Boness.

In true Oklahoma fashion, volunteers are coming to Marietta by the dozen. ”They need help, I mean they couldn't do it alone,” said Boness.

He's helping Amber clean up what they can, and salvage the few things that are left behind. “We've saved, well not a whole lot really but some personal stuff, pictures and things like that, not a whole lot,” said Boness.

Anybody with damages to their homes is asked to report those to damage.ok.gov so FEMA and state leaders can get comprehensive reports before sending funding and resources.

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