Fallin seeks to extend disaster declaration
Gov. Mary Fallin asked the federal government Monday to extend the major disaster declaration issued May 20 to include the latest round of tornadoes, flooding, straight-line winds and severe storms that occurred May 28-June 2. The governor also requested that Canadian County be added to the declaration, which would bring the number of affected counties to six. In Canadian and Oklahoma counties, more than 538 homes and businesses were affected by the May 28-June 2 severe storms, according to the governor's office. This includes 52 that were destroyed, 193 with major damage and 159 with minor damage. Damage assessments had to be completed by the state Emergency Management Department and the Federal Emergency Management Agency before the request to extend the disaster declaration could be made. Assessments in some areas were delayed as floodwaters kept emergency officials from gaining access. The disaster declaration issued May 20 was for damage occurring in Cleveland, Lincoln, McClain, Oklahoma and Pottawatomie counties. More than $5.3 million of assistance grants have been awarded by FEMA to residents in those counties.
Tornado, storm victims advised to ask for lien release
A lawmaker Monday advised those who are rebuilding after losing property to storms and tornadoes to request a construction lien release from contractors rebuilding homes. “It is unfortunate that there always seem to be some individuals who are looking to swindle people in a time of disaster,” said Rep. Joe Dorman, D-Rush Springs. He said he and other lawmakers who have been working with recovery efforts already have come across unlicensed contractors advertising their services, usually in person or by leaving their cards with individuals who have lost property. “If you are trying to rebuild, there are a lot of ways to find contractors who are reputable and who you can trust,” Dorman said. “No matter who you choose, always ask for proper credentials and request a lien release.”
Michael McNutt, Capitol Bureau