Pauls Valley Democrat
The recent wave of destructive and at times tragic storms sweeping through Oklahoma has created an area where an official state of emergency has been declared.
Earlier this week Garvin County was included on the list of counties added on as the areas impacted by the latest round of severe weather that began May 29.
Even though damages in some of the counties, including those here, are mild compared to other parts of the state, one official said they likely were included to possibly help the overall assessment.
“We had minimal damage as far as I know,” said Bud Ramming, emergency management director for Garvin County.
“I don’t really see that helping us,” he said about the county here being included in the state of emergency area.
“It might help with the statewide situation. It may be one of those things where they add us to maybe help out the bigger picture.”
Amending an executive order declaring a state of emergency to include 25 additional counties was Governor Mary Fallin.
Along with Garvin County, the counties now included in the declaration are Adair, Caddo, Canadian, Cherokee, Cleveland, Coal, Comanche, Craig, Creek, Delaware, Garfield, Grady, Grant, Greer, Hughes, Kingfisher, Kiowa, Le Flore, Lincoln, Logan, Mayes, McClain, McCurtain, McIntosh, Muskogee, Nowata, Okfuskee, Oklahoma, Okmulgee, Osage, Ottawa, Pawnee, Payne, Pottawatomie, Pushmataha, Sequoyah, Stephens, Tulsa, Wagoner and Washington.
Since last week, some of these Oklahoma counties have experienced tornadoes, straight-line winds, flooding and damaging hail.
Damage assessments continue in the hardest hit areas, where severe storms have resulted in numerous fatalities and injuries as well as extensive damage to homes and businesses.
Under the executive order, state agencies can make emergency purchases and acquisitions needed to expedite the delivery of resources to local jurisdictions.
The declaration also marks a first step toward seeking federal assistance for counties impacted by severe weather since May 29.
The executive order can be further amended to add additional counties if conditions warrant. The declaration was first signed on May 19.
Two instances of damages in Garvin County were water damage to a Wynnewood grocery store after its roof, undergoing renovations at the time collapsed, and an oil storage tank near Elmore City caught on fire after it was struck by lightning.
“If there is a need here we will help them,” Ramming said.
“Compared to what the rest of the state got we’re very, very minimal,” he said about storm related damages.