President Biden Greenlights Federal Disaster Aid for Storm-Stricken Oklahoma
On Monday, President Joe Biden validated Oklahoma’s appeal for aid by acknowledging the occurrence of a major disaster in the state, colloquially known as the Sooner State, consequent to last week’s intense weather conditions that generated 13 menacing tornadoes.
In response to the extreme weather events that took place on April 19-20, President Biden initiated an order for federal assistance. This aid is intended to bolster the recovery efforts of state, tribal, and local entities in the areas severely affected by these storms. It was announced in a press release that federal funds would be dispersed to assist individuals residing in the hard-hit McClain and Pottawatomie counties.
Governor Kevin Stitt expressed his gratitude towards the White House and the quick response they displayed in extending assistance to Oklahoma, particularly for those communities significantly impacted by the previous week’s tornadoes and severe storms. “I appreciate our partners in the White House for their quick response to assist Oklahoma as we rebuild the communities impacted by last week’s tornadoes and severe storms,” Stitt said. He also extended thanks to the entire congressional delegation for their preparedness to lend a helping hand, as well as the dedication shown by local and state officials in supporting and aiding their fellow Oklahomans during these challenging times.
The National Weather Service has verified the occurrence of 13 tornadoes that wreaked havoc and caused damage worth millions of dollars. Officials reported an estimated expenditure of $9 million in response to the disaster and in clearing debris in McClain and Pottawatomie counties.
According to FEMA, about 2,000 homes and apartments were affected by the calamity. Among those, at least 231 suffered significant damage or were completely destroyed.
The federal aid package will encompass a range of support mechanisms, according to the press release. This could include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, provision of low-interest loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other assistance programs aimed at helping individuals and business owners recuperate. This funding is also accessible to Oklahoma, tribal, and eligible local governments, and certain private nonprofit organizations, on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work in the two impacted counties.
In addition to this, federal funding is available for hazard mitigation measures throughout the state on a cost-sharing basis.
The application process for the affected residents and business owners to obtain assistance has been initiated. They can apply online, by calling FEMA at 800-621-3362, or through the FEMA mobile application.