FEMA assesses wildfire damage

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Updated: 8/10/2012 9:20 am Published: 8/09/2012 5:43 pm

A wildfire that burned 58,500 acres in Creek County is now fully contained.

Federal and state emergency crews went in to evaluate the damage Thursday just north of the Highway 48 and 33 intersections.

Federal Emergency Management Agency surveyed several homes burned in the wildfire.  FEMA representatives say in these rural areas it’s not easy to always spot a home, sometimes the GPS can’t even locate it.

However, the organization will be out searching for each home and structure destroyed to evaluate it.
“We will be here as long as necessary,” said Ray Perez, a Representative for FEMA.

209 homes were destroyed in the fire. FEMA will have to survey the homes. Then, Governor Mary Fallin will decide if she will write a letter to the president for federal aid.

“Oklahoma goes through this process a lot with different disasters so the state knows the process,” said Perez.

“All I have on me is the clothes on my back,” said Tami Teeters, a woman who lost everything in the fire.

Luckily, she has insurance but knows it won’t be easy to recover.

“My breath was taken away,” she said. “It was pretty devastating.”

She’s only been a U.S. citizen two years. She couldn’t afford the home insurance but knew she needed to do something.

“We worked two jobs to get the insurance coverage,” she said. “I think it’s really important for people that don’t have insurance. I think they should be the number one because they don’t have anyone to go to.”

FEMA told FOX23 the money is based on three things: the level of damage, how many people are insured and how many people are displaced. Perez says they’re working as fast as they can but there is no timeline on how long the process will be.

Victims who didn’t have insurance will be the priority.
FEMA says they've seen the process completed in two days, but sometimes even longer.

Multi-Agency Resource Centers remain open. The First United Methodist Church in Mannford located at 100 E. Greenwood is helping residents in that area.  Hours: Noon-7 p.m. through Sunday.

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