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Victims Urged to Make Applications

The Associated Press Published: May 4, 1999
Oklahomans who suffered property damage in the latest siege of tornados were urged Tuesday to begin early in trying to get government help.

A toll-free number is available for people needing assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Services. It is 1-800-462-9029.

James Lee Witt, FEMA director, toured storm wreckage in south Oklahoma City on Tuesday with Gov. Frank Keating.

At a news conference afterward, Witt said offices will be set up to take applications for assistance, but there is no need for victims to wait.

Officials said more than 100 people are available to take applications at the agency's regional office in Dallas through the toll-free number.

President Clinton declared 11 Oklahoma counties disaster areas Caddo, Cleveland, Creek, Grady, McClain, Oklahoma, Kingfisher, Lincoln, Logan, Pottawatomie and Tulsa.

Witt said those left homeless by the storm could qualify for grants of up to 18 months for temporary housing and other assistance through low-interest loans.

Public assistance also is available to the state for debris clearance and emergency protective measures and rebuilding under a 75-25 federal-state match.

Gov. Frank Keating and Attorney General Drew Edmondson asked Oklahoma businesses to be "good neighbors during the period of rebuilding and keep prices for materials the same as they were before the storm.

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