FEMA

Heavy flooding at the intersection of Main Street and Lahoma Ave. in Norman on May 19, 2015.
Steven Anderson / Twitter

Gov. Mary Fallin and the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management have added five counties to the growing list of counties seeking federal disaster assistance for individuals and business owners who have damage from severe storms and flooding last month. 

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and Oklahoma Emergency Management director Albert Ashwood meet with first responders in Purcell on May 27, 2015.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Gov. Mary Fallin and state emergency management officials are seeking federal assistance for 15 additional counties affected by recent storms and flooding. 

Fallin announced Wednesday she is requesting public assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist with reimbursing local cities and counties for debris removal, infrastructure repairs and other storm-related expenses.

A classroom at the damaged Southgate-Rippetoe Elementary School in Moore, that took a direct hit during Wednesday's tornado.
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

Updated April 8, 7:31 a.m.: SBA loans available

The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced that low-interest federal disaster loans are available to Oklahoma businesses and residents affected by the severe storms that raked parts of the state last month.

Tuesday's disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available in Canadian, Cleveland, Creek, Grady, McClain, Oklahoma, Okmulgee, Osage, Pawnee, Pottawatomie, Rogers, Tulsa, Wagoner and Washington counties.

Kate Carlton Greer / Oklahoma Tornado Project

With threats ranging from ice storms to tornadoes, Oklahoma ranks first in the nation in the number of presidentially declared disasters over the past 14 years.

That’s why the state says it's important for local officials to maintain hazard mitigation plans, explaining the steps they're taking to reduce or eliminate their risks. But keeping things up-to-date has proven tough. 

Clifton Adcock / Oklahoma Watch

The tornadoes and storms that devastated Oklahoma and killed 34 last year triggered the release of tens of millions of dollars in federal and state aid that will keep flowing for years.

To date, the federal government has approved up to $257 million in disaster assistance of various kinds to help re build damage and help victims of the winds and flooding that struck between May 18 and June 2, 2013, and to mitigate future risks.

The state has contributed an additional $10.5 million, and private insurers are paying about $1.1 billion. Charities also have pumped in aid.

The relief aid stemming from Disaster No. 4117, as it is called by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is arriving through several channels, heading ultimately to state and local agencies, contractors, businesses and individuals.

Rob "Berto" Bennett / Flickr.com

 A Mannford woman has pleaded guilty in federal court to committing fraud in order to receive more than $31,000 in federal disaster payments.

Federal prosecutors say 42-year-old Kerry Lynn Rowell pleaded guilty Friday in U.S. District Court in Tulsa. Rowell admitted receiving about $31,400 from the Federal Emergency Disaster Agency in money that was available to victims of wildfires in the Mannford area in 2013.

Rowell's attorney declined comment on the case.

It's no question the weather's been brutal for some communities, including Washington, Ill., a town of 15,000 in the central part of the state. When a tornado ripped through the area last November three people died and more than a thousand homes were damaged.

Jason Scragz / Flickr.com

Two state audits say that one commissioner's district in Rogers County over billed the Federal Emergency Management Agency by $250,000 and submitted a false invoice for $36,000.

State Auditor Gary Jones said Thursday that the reports would be forwarded to the local district attorney and to Attorney General Scott Pruitt for consideration of possible criminal charges.

The Tulsa World reports the audits cover spending in two fiscal years, ending June 30, 2012. The documents outlined 12 "items of interest" that involve $5.5 million spent in a FEMA project.

GovMaryFallin / Twitter

Gov. Mary Fallin says the Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved public assistance for 16 counties hit by May storms that brought tornadoes and flooding to Oklahoma.

Fallin said FEMA approved the request on Friday that she submitted Wednesday.

The storms caused an estimated $40 million in uninsured infrastructure losses, and debris removal and response costs.

FEMA says disaster assistance for the state now tops $25 million dollars.

boy walking through rubble
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Seven children were killed at an elementary school in Moore when a massive tornado tore through the area last month.

And the disaster has led to questions about why Oklahoma used previous federal disaster money to build more than 10,000 storm shelters in homes, but only 85 in public schools.

Getting the answer means going back to another major storm, on May 3rd, 1999, and another state.

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