Governor Tours Damage In Picher

Sunday, May 11th 2008, 10:47 am
By: News On 6

Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry toured the town of Picher on Sunday after an aerial tour by helicopter.  Last night, he dispatched the Oklahoma National Guard and other aid to the area.

The governor toured the devastation and the damage is mind boggling.    The tornado leveled several homes in a 20 block area of Picher.  The governor consoled families who lost everything.

Fields are strewn with furniture and chunks of other debris.  The governor talked about the six lives lost, and praised the efforts of emergency and rescue workers.

"It horrifies and is devastating to all of us.  I have to say a big thank you to the emergency responders who came in to help," said Governor Brad Henry.

FEMA is working closely with Oklahoma Emergency Management workers to help those whose homes have been destroyed.

They'll have word on how families can apply for assistance later this week.

  • Oklahoma Highway Patrol personnel continue to provide perimeter control and other assistance in Picher. Command One, the state's mobile command unit is on site to assist response efforts.
  • Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) personnel are on site assisting local response efforts.  
  • The Oklahoma Department of Transportation reports highways 69 and 69A remain closed in and out of Picher.
  • Oklahoma National Guard personnel are assisting with perimeter control.
  • Tulsa's Urban Search and Rescue Team will assist local officials in the search for additional victims.
  • Additionally, many emergency managers, fire, law enforcement and emergency medical first responders continue to assist in Picher. Jurisdictions represented include Commerce, Quapaw, Miami, Wyandotte, Fairland, Afton, Bartlesville and Cherokee. Officials from Kansas and Missouri also assisted in Picher.

Click here to read Governor Brad Henry's statement regarding the deadly tornadoes.

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