OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Gov. Brad Henry has requested that 18 more Oklahoma counties receive federal disaster aid to help with ice storm damage. Seven Oklahoma counties are in line for public assistance under the major disaster declaration that President Bush granted earlier this week.
If this latest request is approved, the additional counties will receive federal funding to assist local governments with repairs to roads, bridges and public facilities, debris removal and other costs.
``Numerous communities statewide received extensive damages in the wake of the ice storm,'' Henry said. ``Public assistance is an important step toward recovery. I am thankful that President Bush and FEMA have been so supportive during this challenging time for Oklahoma, and I anticipate that this request will receive the same level of attention.''
The requested counties are: Beaver, Caddo, Canadian, Craig, Creek, Delaware, Grady, McClain, Nowata, Okfuskee, Okmulgee, Osage, Ottawa, Pawnee, Payne, Rogers, Seminole and Washington.
Already declared for public assistance are Cleveland, Lincoln, Mayes, Oklahoma, Pottawatomie, Tulsa and Wagoner counties.
As additional preliminary damage assessments are completed, more counties will be requested to receive public assistance, Henry said.
The governor has estimated that the storm caused more than $200 million in damage in the state. It led to 29 deaths and it disrupted electrical service to more than 600,000 homes and businesses in the biggest blackout in state history.