The last embers from the wildfires are extinguished, but the need is still great in Creek County.
The City of Mannford isn’t worrying about its bottom line right now, city officials are worrying about their residents and neighbors who lost everything in those fires by waiving a large utility fee.
Diane Hamilton doesn’t have a house anymore.
“We had no place to go, there was nothing, nothing, nothing,” she told FOX23 Wednesday.
After her home burned in the wildfires, she moved to the New Mannford Recreation Area with her granddaughter Josie.
“It gets better everyday, and we have had a lot of help. Everybody has stepped up real big,” she said.
The City of Mannford is giving people like Diane and Josie a big break.
“(They are) letting us stay here for free for 30 days, because then we can eventually go somewhere else and do something,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton says she’ll move to the City of Mannford. On Wednesday, the City Manager told FOX23 when Diane does move, she won’t have to worry about paying a $225 deposit for water, sewer, electric, and gas services because she’s a wildfire victim.
“I didn’t know about that. That is excellent, excellent,” Hamilton said after FOX23 explained the policy.
The city will waive fees when fire victims come in to City Hall to set up their utilities.
The news is music to Diane’s ears. She’s counting every penny as she tries to rebuild her life, and she can’t thank the folks at Mannford City Hall enough.
“These people have stepped up, oh I'm going to cry, above and beyond.”
It is one less thing to worry about and a welcome sign of relief for so many who are still rebuilding.
“Every day gets better, I think for everybody, it really does get better,” Hamilton said.
Diane says she’s also gotten help from the Red Cross to help get her life back in order.
Statewide, the Red Cross has collected $450,000 in donations and pledges to help wildfire victims, but that is still far below the $700,000 wildfire response will cost the agency statewide.
To donate to the Red Cross click here: http://www.redcross.org/charitable-donations