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Oklahoma requests major disaster declaration for October ice storm damage

Photos: As southeastern winter storm fades, canceled flights and icy roads remain
Posted at 10:41 PM, Nov 13, 2020

OKLAHOMA CITY — Governor Kevin Stitt announced Friday the state of Oklahoma requested a Major Disaster Declaration from the federal government for the ice storm damage in October.

The 13 counties included in the request are: Caddo, Canadian, Cleveland, Dewey, Grady, Kingfisher, Kiowa, Logan, Noble, Oklahoma, Payne, Pottawatomie, and Roger Mills.

READ MORE: Record-breaking number of power outages in western Oklahoma, out-of-state crews help

Damage assessments are ongoing. But in just 13 counties, the storm caused about $27-million in damage and debris removal, according to the governor's office.

The combination of three days of freezing rain and an early fall time period made this ice storm especially destructive to a large portion of our state. We hope that the federal government will act quickly and approve Governor Stitt’s request so our hard-hit communities can begin to recover some of the extensive costs associated with responding to this significant winter storm.
Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security Director Mark Gower

If approved, officials said the funding would help municipalities, counties, tribes and rural electric cooperatives with debris removal, infrastructure repairs and other storm-related costs.

Officials said damage assessments were conducted virtually by state and local emergency management due to the pandemic.

“I commend the dozens of city and county emergency managers and ODEMHS staff who have worked tirelessly to collect and enter more than 1,000 damage reports in order to make the case for federal assistance,” said Gov. Stitt. “I urge the federal government to quickly approve this declaration to speed up our recovery.”

Governor Stitt said the state will request additional counties be added to the declaration in the coming weeks.

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