FEMA Officials Plan to Survey Flood Damage in Okla.

July 12, 2007

Federal officials plan to survey damage and talk to residents this week in flood-ravaged neighborhoods in Bartlesville and Dewey, Okla., where more than 3,000 people were displaced when the Caney River flooded its banks last week.

Representatives of the Federal Emergency Management Agency plan to go through damaged areas to talk with victims about how they can get assistance with housing, property replacement, business and agriculture needs, said Kary Cox, Washington County’s emergency management director.

“We are encouraging all flood victims, residents and business owners alike, that suffered any type of flood damage to call the local report line as well as register with FEMA as soon as possible,” Cox said. “The sooner they get registered, the quicker they will get assistance.”

On Tuesday, the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management said preliminary estimates show that 938 homes were damaged by floods in Miami and Bartlesville and in Comanche, Nowata and Pottawatomie counties.

Of those, 252 homes were destroyed, 322 had major damage, 182 had minor damage and 182 were affected in other ways, such as basement flooding. An additional 43 multifamily properties – primarily apartments – also were damaged, with 13 being destroyed and 30 having major damage.

Many businesses also were destroyed or had major damage, the agency said.

An estimated 3,000 people were displaced in the Bartlesville area and 1,500 to 2,000 others were displaced in Miami, officials said.

As of Tuesday, about 40 people were still in shelters.

Nonprofit groups including The Salvation Army, the American Red Cross and Baptist Disaster Relief are continuing to provide aid to flood victims in the area.

Meanwhile, heavy rains late Monday and early Tuesday resulted in flash flooding that washed out bridges and roads, stranded motorists and forced people from their homes in the McClain County towns of Purcell, Washington and Newcastle.

Information from: Tulsa World, www.tulsaworld.com.

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