OKLAHOMA CITY — State officials on Friday declared a state of emergency for 63 counties following severe storms and flooding across the state of Oklahoma.
At the request of Gov. Brad Henry, Lt. Gov. Jari Askins approved the paperwork declaring the emergency.
"We urge everyone to use caution as storms continue across our state," Lt. Gov. Askins said.
"I want to extend my thanks to the emergency crews and the news media for keeping the public safe and informed during this life-threatening crisis. Once again, our heroic responders have demonstrated the 'Oklahoma Standard.'"
Since Tuesday, the state has experienced multiple storms that have flooded streets and homes and contributed to at least three drowning deaths.
The emergency declaration covers a number of different weather events that began July 6. Counties included in the declaration are:
Adair, Atoka, Beckham, Bryan, Caddo, Canadian, Carter, Cherokee, Choctaw, Cleveland, Coal, Comanche, Cotton, Craig, Creek, Custer, Delaware, Garvin, Grady, Greer, Harmon, Haskell, Hughes, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnston, Kingfisher, Kiowa, Latimer, LeFlore, Lincoln, Logan, Love, Marshall, Mayes, McClain, McCurtain, McIntosh, Murray, Muskogee, Noble, Nowata, Okfuskee, Oklahoma, Okmulgee, Osage, Ottawa, Pawnee, Payne, Pittsburg, Pontotoc, Pottawatomie, Pushmataha, Roger Mills, Rogers, Seminole, Sequoyah, Stephens, Tillman, Tulsa, Wagoner, Washington and Washita.
The declaration provides a formal mechanism for local governments to seek reimbursement for recovery costs through the state's disaster public assistance program should conditions warrant. The executive order is also the first step toward seeking federal aid should it be necessary.
Additional counties may be added to the executive order as necessary.