Federal disaster aid is being sought for residents in Oklahoma County and three other counties who were affected by recent wildfires.
If approved, the request by Gov. Mary Fallin would deliver individual assistance to residents and business owners in Cleveland, Creek, Oklahoma and Payne counties.
Nearly 680 homes and businesses were damaged beginning July 28 as fires burned more than 114,000 acres across the state, according to the governor's office. This includes 603 homes that were destroyed.
Many are uninsured
An estimated 85 percent of the homes damaged or destroyed were not insured, the governor's office said.
“Thousands of acres have burned and hundreds of homes have been destroyed in recent weeks as Oklahoma has been hard hit by wildfires,” Fallin said. “If approved, the federal assistance will help residents and business owners get back on their feet.”
If the request for individual assistance is granted, Oklahomans who had uninsured or underinsured fire damage in the four counties would be eligible for:
• Assistance for housing repairs or temporary housing.
• U.S. Small Business Administration low-interest loans for individuals and businesses to repair or replace damaged property.
• Disaster unemployment assistance and grants for serious needs and necessary disaster expenses not met by other programs.
Additional counties may be added should conditions warrant, the governor's office said.
A state of emergency remains in place for all 77 Oklahoma counties because of the extreme or exceptional drought conditions.
The declaration allows state agencies to make emergency purchases related to disaster relief and preparedness.