Governor Mary Fallin May 22 announced that two Oklahoma counties may now receive disaster assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as a result of the severe weather that occurred April 28 through May 2.
The designation provides SBA low-interest disaster loans for homeowners and business owners in Cherokee and Haskell counties to replace any property damaged by the storm that was not covered by insurance or other assistance programs. The loan program is also available to assist businesses that sustained economic injury due to the storm.
Under SBA rules, the contiguous counties of Adair, Delaware, Latimer, Le Flore, Mayes, McIntosh, Muskogee, Pittsburg, Sequoyah and Wagoner are also eligible for assistance.
The state requested the SBA declaration on May 16 after damage assessments found at least 63 homes and businesses were impacted by the storms in Cherokee and Haskell counties.
The governor also requested a disaster declaration for public assistance for 18 counties from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The request is for the following counties: Adair, Beaver, Caddo, Cherokee, Cimarron, Craig, Delaware, Haskell, Kiowa, Lincoln, Logan, Mayes, Muskogee, Ottawa, Pittsburg, Sequoyah, Texas and Washita.
The state sustained at least $12.7 million in infrastructure damage due to the severe storms, according to preliminary damage reports. The state is still awaiting FEMA’s response to this request.