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Oklahoma tornadoes: Little Axe gym home to disaster recovery center

Local, state and federal representatives call the location a ‘one stop shop' designed to help victims rebuild their lives.
by Tim Willert Modified: May 27, 2013 at 8:19 pm •  Published: May 28, 2013

The elementary school here was bustling with activity Monday as people dropped off donated supplies by the truckload for victims of last week's tornadoes.

Inside the gymnasium, now a disaster recovery center, Federal Emergency Management Agency workers helped displaced homeowners, renters and business owners with disaster assistance.

“It's a one-stop shop for people to come in and find out, whether it be local, state or federal assistance, what they need to do to apply and follow up on assistance,” said Tony Robinson, a FEMA regional administrator.

Robinson and representatives from state and local agencies were on hand Monday to discuss the opening day of the center, the first of its kind since the May 19 and May 20 twisters hit Little Axe and surrounding areas.

The center joins mobile locations in Moore, Shawnee, Carney and Luther.

“We're able to give those citizens what they need out here, and that's the people to talk to get the items necessary for recovery,” Cleveland County Commissioner Darry Stacy said.

To date, more than 4,600 people have registered for assistance with FEMA, which has approved more than $3.7 million in assistance, Robinson said.

Federal assistance available from FEMA includes loans up to $40,000 for renters and homeowners to replace damaged personal property such as furniture, clothing, appliances and uninsured vehicles, said William Koontz, a spokesman for the U.S. Small Business Administration.

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by Tim Willert
Education Reporter
Tim Willert is a native Californian with Oklahoma ties who covers education. Prior to moving to Oklahoma in June 2011, he was as an editor for in Century City, Calif., and reported on courts for the Los Angeles Daily Journal and...
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