OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt said Wednesday that he is asking President Joe Biden for a federal disaster declaration due to a winter storm that dumped snow and ice on the state and brought days of subfreezing temperatures and power outages.
Stitt’s disaster declaration request for all 77 Oklahoma counties came a day after the governor spoke with Biden by phone.
“President Biden pledged the federal government’s support for Oklahoma when we spoke by phone,” Stitt said. “I am now urging the president and his administration to act quickly and deliver on our request to help Oklahomans recover from this historic storm.”
Stitt declared a statewide emergency last Friday as the winter storm was approaching the state, shortly before leaving the state for a weekend ski vacation.
If approved, Stitt’s request would provide federal funding to reimburse cities, counties and tribes for the costs of emergency measures responding to the storm, including providing shelter for displaced residents.
In a statement following the call between Biden, Stitt and six other governors Tuesday, the White House said, "President Biden relayed to the governors that he understood the severity of the conditions being felt across the states, and that he and the First Lady were praying for swift recovery from the effects of the storm. President Biden reiterated to all the governors that his Administration is prepared to assist and stands ready to respond to requests for Federal assistance from the governors and will deploy any additional Federal emergency resources available to assist the residents of their states in getting through this historic storm."