Okla. Receives $120M in Disaster Aid so Far in 2007

September 18, 2007

Oklahomans affected by multiple rounds of severe weather this year have been approved to receive more than $120 million in federal aid, according to statistics from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

That money includes funds for emergency housing, infrastructure repairs, loans and other assistance for individuals and local governments, FEMA spokesman Charlie Henderson said. He said more than 4,500 people affected by storms between June 10 and July 25 have applied for assistance.

There is an Oct. 5 deadline to report damage from those storms to FEMA. Henderson said it is “imperative” that people meet that deadline.

“We will work with you for weeks or months afterward, provided you are registered by Oct. 5,” he said.

FEMA does not cover damages already covered by insurance, but can help with remaining expenses, he said.

Henderson said a common misconception is that because someone makes too much money, that person won’t qualify for assistance. He said that eligibility for assistance is based on the nature and timing of the damage and is determined on a case-by-case basis.

Since May 4, the federal government has issued four major disaster declarations for parts of Oklahoma. The $120 million includes aid for those disasters as well as that for two declarations made before that in the aftermath of severe ice storms.

Records show that the Small Business Administration has approved more than $11.5 million this year in loans for business owners, homeowners and ranchers in Oklahoma.

About $11.8 million has been approved for local governments in eastern Oklahoma to pay for repairs of infrastructure damage, according to the state Department of Emergency Management. More than $8.2 million of that amount is headed toward Ottawa County, which was especially hard-hit by flooding.

Information from: Tulsa World, www.tulsaworld.com

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