WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The White House announced Thursday it has granted a request by Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry for a major disaster declaration for the Christmas Eve blizzard that blanketed Oklahoma late last year.   

"The federal aid will help cities and counties pay the bills related to their response and recovery efforts," said Governor Henry.  "The Christmas Eve blizzard was a historic weather event, and we appreciate the White House's assistance in helping Oklahoma recover from the storm."  

Under the declaration, 29 counties will receive public assistance for expenses related to response and recovery efforts during the December 24-25, 2009 storm.   

The counties include Craig, Delaware, Hughes, Muskogee, Nowata, Okfuskee, Okmulgee, Ottawa, Payne, Rogers, Sequoyah and Tulsa.  

State emergency management officials noted that damage assessments continue in other counties throughout the state.