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Lankford Leads Delegation to Call for Immediate Disaster Relief for Oklahoma

 

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Senators James Lankford (R-OK) andMarkwayne Mullin (R-OK) along with Representatives Tom Cole (R-OK), Frank Lucas (R-OK), Kevin Hern (R-OK), Stephanie Bice (R-OK), and Josh Brecheen (R-OK) sent a letter of support to President Biden to formally request disaster relief funding after the June 17 storm throughout the state. The delegation has remained engaged on the status of the storm clean up and the necessary assistance needed for the last two weeks. The letter of support from the delegation was sent in conjunction with the request filed by Oklahoma Emergency Management. 

The delegation wrote,“We write in support of the formal request from the State of Oklahoma, through the office of Governor Kevin Stitt, that was submitted on July 1, 2023, for major disaster declaration, including categories A-G of Public Assistance, for Beaver, Cimarron, Comanche, Cotton, Craig, Creek Delaware, Harper, Jefferson, Love, Major, McCurtain, Payne Pushmataha, Rogers, Stephens, Tulsa, and Woodward Counties to recover from last month’s severe weather, which included sustained wind in excess of 80 miles per hour. An Executive Order declaring a State of Emergency in these counties (E.O. 2023-18) was issued on June 20, 2023.

“State and local officials have informed us that this incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response and recovery is beyond the combined capability of the state and local governments, and that federal assistance is necessary to save lives, protect property, and to ensure the safety of these communities. As such, we respectfully urge you to approve the Governor’s request for the counties listed above, along with any subsequently added counties.”

Read the full letter here or below. 

Dear Mr. President:

We write in support of the formal request from the State of Oklahoma, through the office of Governor Kevin Stitt, that was submitted on July 1, 2023, for major disaster declaration, including categories A-G of Public Assistance, for Beaver, Cimarron, Comanche, Cotton, Craig, Creek Delaware, Harper, Jefferson, Love, Major, McCurtain, Payne Pushmataha, Rogers, Stephens, Tulsa, and Woodward Counties to recover from last month’s severe weather, which included sustained wind in excess of 80 miles per hour. An Executive Order declaring a State of Emergency in these counties (E.O. 2023-18) was issued on June 20, 2023.

During the late afternoon of June 17 through the overnight hours of June 18, a major storm system moved from northwest to far northeast Oklahoma. The line of storms produced at least three separate tornados and consistently maintained wind gusts from 80 to over 100 miles per hour. These gusts caused tremendous damage, particularly in the central and southern portions of Tulsa County. Statewide, the storms caused over 350,000 people to lose electricity, with many not expected to have their power restored for at least a week. Immediately after the storm passed, Oklahomans stepped up to help their families and neighbors as they begin the process of cleaning up the debris and repairing damage to homes, churches, and business. 

State and local officials have informed us that this incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response and recovery is beyond the combined capability of the state and local governments, and that federal assistance is necessary to save lives, protect property, and to ensure the safety of these communities. As such, we respectfully urge you to approve the Governor’s request for the counties listed above, along with any subsequently added counties. 

We stand ready to provide any assistance needed to ensure the prompt evaluation of this request. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our offices with any questions on this matter. 

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