Oklahoma tornadoes: Oklahoma governor declares state of emergency

Gov. Mary Fallin's declaration covers 12 counties and includes the city of Woodward, where a large tornado Sunday killed five people.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Published: April 16, 2012

Gov. Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency Sunday for 12 Oklahoma counties because of tornadoes, severe storms, straight line winds and flooding that have struck the state the past three days.

Counties in the declaration are Alfalfa, Caddo, Canadian, Cleveland, Ellis, Harper, Jackson, Kiowa, Logan, Oklahoma, Woods and Woodward.

Since Friday, the 12 counties have experienced tornadoes, straight line winds, damaging hail and flooding. Damage assessments continue in the hardest hit areas, including the city of Woodward, where five people were reported killed due to a large tornado.

The twister also caused extensive damage to homes and businesses.

“My thoughts and prayers go out to those families who have lost loved ones or seen their homes destroyed,” said Fallin, who toured some of the Woodward damage Sunday afternoon. “The state of Oklahoma is currently doing everything it can to provide relief to the communities in the path of last night's storms and tornadoes. We will continue to work to provide every bit of assistance that we can in the coming days.”

Under the governor's executive order, state agencies can make emergency purchases and acquisitions needed to expedite the delivery of resources to local jurisdictions. The declaration also marks a first step toward seeking federal assistance should it be necessary. The declaration can be changed to add additional counties if conditions warrant.



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