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Oklahoma tornadoes: Federal disaster declaration expands for Oklahoma

The White House approves Oklahoma's request to extend last month's major disaster declaration to include the latest rounds of tornadoes, flooding, straight-line winds and storms.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT Modified: June 11, 2013 at 9:56 pm •  Published: June 12, 2013

The White House approved Oklahoma's request to extend an existing major disaster declaration issued to include the latest round of tornadoes, flooding, straight-line winds and severe storms that occurred from May 28 through June 2, the governor's office said Tuesday evening.

“Extension of this disaster declaration means that many residents affected by the tornadoes and flooding at the end of May and beginning of June will now be available for individual assistance,” Gov. Mary Fallin said. “This is a welcome relief for the hundreds of Oklahomans whose homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed.”

Fallin's request to include Canadian County for individual assistance was also approved, bringing the number of eligible counties to six.

In just Canadian and Oklahoma counties, more than 538 homes and businesses were affected by the May 28 through June 2 severe storms, the governor's office said. Of those, 52 were destroyed, 193 sustained major damage and 159 had minor damage.

A disaster declaration was first issued May 20 for damage that occurred in Cleveland, Lincoln, McClain, Oklahoma and Pottawatomie counties. More than $5.4 million in assistance has already been awarded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to residents in those counties.

Assistance options include payments 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.