President Bush Declares Emergency Disaster For Oklahoma

Tuesday, December 11th 2007, 6:09 am
By: News On 6

The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced late Monday night that President George W. Bush had approved Oklahoma's request for a Federal emergency declaration covering all 77 counties. The emergency declaration authorizes federal resources to assist state and local governments as they continue to respond to the ice storm.

Tulsa County has been especially hard hit. Tulsa mayor Kathy Taylor says this storm has impacted over 200,000 residents.

"This federal declaration will enable the city to better serve our citizens as we try to meet the most critical needs during this emergency," said Mayor Kathy Taylor. 'Over the past two days I've been in contact with the governor and state officials. They have been instrumental in making sure this was prioritized due to the serious challenges faced by our citizens."

Mayor Kathy Taylor had plans to brief the Tulsa City Council on the current situation with recovery efforts in Tulsa during a Public Works committee meeting on Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile, FEMA Administrator David Paulison named Philip E. Parr as the federal coordinating officer for federal recovery operations.

Initial FEMA-administered aid is limited to $5 million. If the aid exceeds that amount, the President reports the nature and extent of the emergency to Congress before approving more federal aid.

Debris removal and emergency protective measures, limited to direct federal assistance, will be provided at 75% federal funding.

Application procedures for local governments will be explained at a series for briefings. The dates and times of those briefings will be announced by FEMA.

Approved public repair projects are paid through the state from funding provided by FEMA and other participating federal agencies.