Yukon declared ‘disaster area’

Council seeks reimbursement for ice storm-related costs

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Yukon Mayor Shelli Selby and Vice Mayor Jeff Wootton discuss what steps are being taken after the severe weather emergency. Selby read a proclamation at the Nov. 3rd city council meeting declaring Yukon a “disaster area” due to the catastrophic ice storm. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

By Conrad Dudderar

Senior Staff Writer

Yukon was hit hard Oct. 26 by a catastrophic ice storm, and the city council has acted so the City may be reimbursed for damage-related costs.

The Yukon City Council, at its Nov. 3 meeting, approved a disaster emergency proclamation due to the considerable damage to public and private properties caused by the storm.

Yukon took the brunt of this extraordinary squall – which occurred eight weeks before winter even begins.

These conditions constitute a “threat to the safety and welfare of the city” and create an “emergency disaster situation” as defined by the Oklahoma Emergency Management Act, according to the document.

Yukon Mayor Shelli Selby

Mayor Shelli Selby declared the City of Yukon to be a “disaster area, entitled to aid, relief and assistance.” The City’s Emergency Operations Plan has been implemented.

If the Federal Emergency Management Agency declares the City of Yukon a disaster area, the city will be eligible for an 87.5% reimbursement of storm-related expenses.

The emergency proclamation notes that “immediate attention is required to protect public health, reduce further damage, ensure public safety and render emergency relief.”

The City of Yukon has contracted with Arbor Masters Tree Service for emergency storm debris removal. City crews are helping with the large clean-up effort.

Many tree limbs were damaged due to this ice storm, leaving large piles of the debris curbside in neighborhoods across Yukon that must be picked up and grinded up.

If the Federal Emergency Management Agency declares the City of Yukon a disaster area, the city will be eligible for an 87.5% reimbursement of storm-related expenses.

More than 7,500 electric customers in Yukon were without power Oct. 28. Service had been restored to most Yukon homes and businesses by late this week.

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RELIEF EFFORTS EXPEDITED

In an executive order filed Oct. 26 with the Oklahoma Secretary of State, Gov. Kevin Stitt declared the severe weather, freezing rain and snow that start Oct. 26 “has caused damage to public and private properties and utilities, including electric system” and these damages “have caused undue hardship” on Oklahoma citizens.

“Due to winter weather conditions ongoing and anticipated in the immediate future, including power outages caused by ice accumulations on power lines and vegetation, it is necessary to assist and expedite all efforts of relief,” according to Stitt’s emergency order.

Forty-seven of the state’s 77 counties were included in the governor’s disaster declaration.