Oklahoma City, OK – In the wake of severe storms across the state, Gov. Brad Henry today declared a state of emergency to exist in 56 Oklahoma counties due to tornadoes and severe storms that ripped through the state yesterday.
"Lives and property have been lost, and our thoughts and prayers go out to those who are suffering because of these storms," Gov. Henry said. "As usual, the response of emergency management officials and first responders has been exemplary and we are ready to do whatever it takes to help victims of these storms rebuild and recover."
Today, Gov. Henry will take an aerial tour of some of the hardest-hit areas in central Oklahoma and visit with first responders on the ground. Several fatalities have been attributed to the storms and dozens of homes and businesses have been damaged or destroyed.
Today's executive order is the first step toward seeking federal assistance. In addition, Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management officials are in the midst of preliminary damage assessments to determine the extent of damages.
The counties included in the state of emergency are: Alfalfa, Atoka, Beaver, Blaine, Bryan, Caddo, Canadian, Carter, Cleveland, Coal, Comanche, Cotton, Craig, Creek, Delaware, Dewey, Ellis, Garfield, Garvin, Grady, Grant, Harper, Haskell, Hughes, Jefferson, Johnston, Kay, Kingfisher, Kiowa, Lincoln, Logan, Love, Marshall, Mayes, McIntosh, McClain, Murray, Muskogee, Noble, Okfuskee, Oklahoma, Okmulgee, Osage, Ottawa, Pawnee, Payne, Pontotoc, Pottawatomie, Rogers, Seminole, Sequoyah, Stephens, Tillman, Tulsa, Washita and Woodward.
Additional counties may be added to the declaration as conditions warrant.
Gov. Henry also issued a second executive order today exempting trucks providing direct assistance for the restoration of essential services from weight and permit requirements. That executive order will aid utility companies and municipalities as they attempt to repair infrastructure and restore services to customer and residents.