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FEMA Inspectors Arrive To View Damage

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FEMA visits Tulsa to document some of the damage from the ice storm. FEMA visits Tulsa to document some of the damage from the ice storm.
The federal agency has already approved relief for local governments, but will soon be asked to help out individuals. The federal agency has already approved relief for local governments, but will soon be asked to help out individuals.
The inspectors visited just two north Tulsa homes as a snapshot of all of Tulsa's damage. The inspectors visited just two north Tulsa homes as a snapshot of all of Tulsa's damage.

FEMA visits Tulsa to document some of the damage from the ice storm. The federal agency has already approved relief for local governments, but will soon be asked to help out individuals who were affected by the ice storm. The News On 6's Emory Bryan reports the federal government can help people who had damage to homes and cars that wasn't covered by insurance.

On Thursday, a small team of FEMA inspectors came to Tulsa to look at the damage and report back to Washington.

It was the first look at Tulsa's ice storm damage for a team of FEMA inspectors. They have input into whether the federal government will reimburse people for uninsured losses. Ivy Liggins says she hasn't yet gotten an estimate on the repairs her house needs. The limbs fell through her roof and broke her windows, leaving damaged plumbing and electrical lines.

"I'm going to get through it. I'm sure it could be worse and maybe others are worse," said storm victim Ivy Liggins.

The inspectors visited just two north Tulsa homes as a snapshot of all of Tulsa's damage. The state selected the two homes from among those with reports of uninsured damage. The documentation gathered will help decide the case for federal help directly to individuals.

The effort to collect information about damage to the homes in Tulsa may not result in financial assistance for individuals. The same process after the January ice storm in southern Oklahoma ended with the claim being denied.

"But again we just don't know if this one will qualify, but we're out here crossing every T and dotting every I trying to make that happen," said Michaelann Ooten with the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management.

Mrs. Liggins spent 10 days without power and can't afford the repairs her home needs. She lost her husband four years ago, a son two years ago and said this is just another blow.

"When things like this happen, that's when you think about it the most," said storm victim Ivy Liggins.

The state plans to file the paperwork with FEMA next week to ask for more financial help, but there is no timetable for a decision and no guarantee that any help for individuals will be approved.

The feds approved help for individuals after wildfires and floods this year, but there is no way to tell if they'll approve this one or how much money would be approved for the people who need it.

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