The federal Labor Department said Thursday it will provide up to $10 million in national emergency grants for temporary jobs to help clean up counties affected by last week's tornadoes.
The grants, which come from the labor secretary's discretionary fund, will be available for Cleveland, Lincoln, McClain, Oklahoma and Pottawatomie counties. Those counties were included in last week's federal disaster declaration following tornadoes and severe storms May 18-20.
“The Oklahoma storms have left human tragedy and economic devastation in their wake,” acting Labor Secretary Seth D. Harris said in a statement. “The department is stepping up to make a contribution to this urgent recovery effort, as Oklahomans rebuild their homes, their businesses and their lives. With $10 million in National Emergency Grant money, we are able to assist not only with cleanup, but to put people to work, as well.”
The money will go to the state Commerce Department. An initial grant of $5 million will be available immediately, with the remaining funds released on the state's ability to meet federal guidelines. Additional counties may be added later.