President Trump signs emergency declaration; assistance to flood victims
President Donald Trump has signed an emergency declaration affecting a handful of Oklahoma counties and has dispatched two federal emergency response agencies to assist state leaders in flood recovery.
Kay County is included in the declaration, and it is joined by the counties of Haskell, LeFlore, Muskogee, Noble, Osage, Pawnee, Sequoyah, Tulsa, and Wagoner.
According to a press release from the White House, Trump's order, signed Saturday, directs the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Homeland Security to “coordinate disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population.”
“Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency. Emergency protective measures, limited to direct federal assistance, will be provided at 75 percent federal funding,” the release stated.
Gerald M. Stolar, an appointee of FEMA Acting Administrator Pete Gaynor, will oversee flood recovery operations in those counties, according to the release.
The emergency declaration will apply to all flooding that has taken place in those counties since May 7.
Following heavy rains in Oklahoma this month, numerous Oklahoma cities and towns have suffered widespread flooding. In Blackwell, several city blocks have been underwater at one point or another. In nearby Ponca City, flooding has swept away a local bar and left roads inaccessible. Roads have been closed throughout the county.
USDA READY TO HELP
The United States Department of Agriculture has opened up disaster assistance programs to help farmers and ranchers that have been affected by flooding in recent weeks.
Administered by the Farm Service Agency, some of the USDA's recovery programs include the Livestock Indemnity Program, the Emergency Assistance for Livestock Program, and the Tree Assistance Program. To help rehabilitate damaged farmland, the FSA offers the Emergency Conservation Program.
“FSA has a variety of disaster assistance programs to support farmers and ranchers through times of adversity,” said SED Scott Biggs, state executive director for the FSA in Oklahoma. “Once you are able to evaluate your losses, it is important to contact your local FSA office to report all damages and losses and learn more about how we can assist, as soon as possible.”
To find out if you can receive help from any of these programs, contact your local USDA service center or visit http://farmers.gov/recover.
Kay County's FSA office is located at 5501 Pleasant View Road in Newkirk. It can be reached by calling 580-362-2575.
FLOOD VICTIMS ASKED TO REPORT DAMAGE
Oklahoma residents who have been impacted by flooding are asked to report any possible damage to their property by visiting http://damage.ok.gov or by calling 2-1-1. By doing so, you can help emergency crews develop better response plans.
HOW TO GET HELP
Needing help after the flood? Call Oklahoma 2-1-1.
Oklahoma 2-1-1, which operates statewide, seeks to provide flood recovery services to communities and individuals in need.
To register for assistance, dial 2-1-1. Or, visit the organization's website at https://www.211oklahoma.org.
PRICE GOUGING PROHIBITED
Oklahoma's Emergency Price Stabilization Act is in effect, according to a release from the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management.
According to the release, the act goes into effect when the governor issues a state of emergency. Currently, all of Oklahoma's 77 counties are included in the state of emergency, meaning the act is in effect statewide.
When the law is in effect, businesses that raise their prices for goods or services by more than 10 percent may be prosecuted.
If you believe a business has engaged in price gouging, you can report it to the Oklahoma Attorney General's Consumer Protection Office by calling 405-521-2029. You can also report price gouging by visiting the office's website, http://firstname.lastname@example.org.
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