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Oklahoma finally paying overdue storm bills

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: May 9, 2012

Oklahoma turned 100 years old on Nov. 16, 2007. About a month later, an ice storm of historic proportions hit much of the state. To take this history lesson forward, it took another four-plus years for local governments to be repaid for their part in coping with the calamity.

And to take this into the future, the state needs a better plan for dealing with natural disasters, of which Oklahoma history is unfortunately full.

A $34.1 million supplemental appropriation will help catch up with a backlog of bills due to local governments for disaster relief. The most overdue of these bills dates to February 2007.

The appropriation is designed to reimburse cities, counties, utilities and other jurisdictions. Most disaster assistance is paid by the federal government, but the portion the state was supposed to cover has been going unpaid.

Here's some more history: For nearly 60 years, Oklahoma has had more officially declared disasters than any state other than Texas and California, each of which covers far more territory. Since 2007, Oklahoma has been the national leader in declared disasters.

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by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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