Governor Appeals Denial Of Federal Flood Help For Oklahoma

Saturday, March 12th 2016, 9:37 am
By: News On 6

Governor Mary Fallin is appealing the Federal Emergency Management Agency's denial of individual assistance for residents and businesses in nine eastern Oklahoma counties hit by a winter storm.

The storm began December 26 and brought ice, sleet and flooding to the region. Fallin says 122 homes were destroyed and 118 more were damaged.

FEMA approved public assistance for 41 counties in Oklahoma in addition to individual assistance in neighboring Missouri and Arkansas while denying individual assistance in Adair, Cherokee, Delaware, Mayes, McCurtain, Muskogee, Ottawa, Pushmataha and Sequoyah counties.

Fallin says she doesn't understand how neighboring states qualified while the Oklahoma counties were turned down.

“I am at a loss to explain how these neighboring states qualified for Individual Assistance while damage from the same storm in our adjacent Oklahoma counties fell short of garnering the same federal aid,” Fallin wrote. 

“Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri residents sustained damage during the same period, from the same storm. Weather systems recognize no county or state lines and yet Oklahomans have been left behind."

An individual assistance declaration would make renters and home and business owners eligible for assistance with housing repairs, temporary housing and disaster unemployment payments.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.