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White House approves Emergency Declaration for Osage County, and others

Photo caption: The Woodland High School football field in Fairfax and surrounding area was under water May 21. Photo by Miranda Graham

Governor Kevin Stitt announced that President Donald Trump has approved the state’s request for an emergency declaration for 10 Oklahoma Counties.

Counties included in the emergency declaration are Haskell, Kay, Le Flore, Muskogee, Noble, Osage, Pawnee, Sequoyah, Tulsa, and Wagoner.

The declaration authorizes federal resources to assist state and local governments as they continue to respond to the widespread, significant flooding. These resources may include industrial size generators, bottled water, cots and blankets, according to a release.

State authorities will continue to assess the need for additional federal disaster aid to cover further response and recovery costs, including possible federal assistance for homeowners impacted by flooding. Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management is working with FEMA and local emergency management officials to secure all eligible assistance warranted by these dangerous floods.

“We appreciate the President’s prompt response to our request for federal aid and we will continue to stay in close touch with the White House and federal authorities as we try to help communities keep their residents safe from this deadly flooding,” said Gov. Stitt in the release. “Many Oklahoma communities have been hit hard, and we will be doing everything possible to help them today in their time of need and in the weeks to come.”

Oklahoma remains under a statewide declaration of emergency.

Osage financial assistance

Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear said the ON Financial Assistance Director Jennifer Oberly has been updating the executive branch daily on applicant needs from those affected by the flooding. Standing Bear said according to a report he received on May 24, there is a balance of $60,000 plus to help those in need. The office offers up to $1,000 in Crisis Assistance per Osage with no age limit.

Congresswomen Shannon Edwards, Alice Goodfox and other members of Congress have reached out to Standing Bear and said they will appropriate more money to the financial assistance office if needed.

Call the Financial Assistance office at (918) 287-5325 for Crisis Assistance. Osage homeowners that sustained damage to their home from the storms may apply for repair work of up to $1,000. Applications are available online at https://www.osagenation-nsn.gov/what-we-do/financial-assistance?fbclid=IwAR1gJBHrvvN0yFbz2jKiXbEWw7T78s0TYXtolRTJFYNqOcdQ0tfUxRgRMF8