Governor Declares State Of Emergency In Counties Hit Hard By Storms

Photo: OG&E

Governor Kevin Stitt has declared a State of Emergency in counties hit hard by the weekend storms.

Stitt called on Oklahoma Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat to sign Executive Order 2023-18 declaring a State of Emergency in Creek, Delaware, Harper, Mayes, Pawnee, Payne, Rogers, Tulsa, Wagoner, and Choctaw counties following recent storms across the state. This declaration has been ordered following the most recent reports from the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, who has been working closely with local jurisdictions as they survey the storm damage and debris, including damage to public buildings, infrastructure, and utilities. Since Thursday, an emergency waiver has been in place allowing for size and weight exemptions for power crews assisting in power and storm recovery.

 “My heart goes out to the Oklahomans impacted by last weekend’s severe weather, and the many people still overcoming the aftermath of those storms,” said Governor Stitt. “The State, including the Oklahoma Department Emergency Management and Homeland Security continues to be responsive through emergency declarations, waivers, and requests to impacted areas to restore power, protect critical infrastructure and to get Oklahomans the resources they need during these trying times. I am thankful for our emergency response teams and power crews who are working tirelessly to restore utilities in the affected areas.”

 The State has been fielding requests from local jurisdictions for power generation for water and waste treatment plants, including emergency communication centers across the impacted areas. At this time, the state has met all requested generation needs. Out of more than 350,000 outages reported early Sunday morning after storms passed through the state, only approximately 150,000 outages remain statewide. Governor Stitt has been in close communication with the Public Service Company of Oklahoma’s CEO who has reported more than 2,700 power crews have been working around the clock on restoration, and power crews from as far as New Jersey have been deployed to assist. The State is also working with local gas supply companies to supply generators to ensure Oklahomans will continue to have a stable gas supply.

“I want to thank the State for declaring a state of emergency in Tulsa as our city continues to grip with the aftermath of the June 18 storm,” said Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum. “With this declaration, Tulsa will be able to further assist our residents with this disaster and align resources to seek federal reimbursement. I want to thank my fellow Tulsans for your perseverance and resilience during this trying time in our city.”

“This State of Emergency will be key in the coming days as we continue to work with our emergency management partners across the state and at FEMA to identify damages in the impacted areas and determine whether aid may be available to assist communities,” said ODEMHS Director Mark Gower. “We’re grateful to all the responders, power crews, emergency managers, voluntary agencies, and others who have stepped up yet again to help Oklahomans.”

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