Governors declare states of emergency

Governors aim to help agencies in midst of ice storm

BY STEPHANIE BACKUS | BALTIMORE | January 26, 2009


Ice coats tree branches in Missouri.
Credit: Nancy Hogland

Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry issued an emergency declaration for all 77 counties on Monday.

Oklahoma was part of several states hit by a winter weather system on Monday.

The executive order makes it possible for Oklahoma to seek federal assistance if necessary. The order also allows state agencies to make emergency purchases.

He also issued an executive order allowing utility crews a 30-day waiver on permit requirements for use of overweight and oversized vehicles. The order is intended on helping the crews handle storm-related repairs. Henry urged Oklahomans to use caution during the storm. Two individuals died on Oklahoma roadways as a result of the storm.

Freezing rain continued in the eastern half of the state on Tuesday. Parts of the state are seeing power outages. The freezing participating is expected to continue through Wednesday for areas in the line of the storm.

Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe also declared a state of emergency during the ice storm. Beebe said he hopes to speed the response of state agencies.

Beebe also signed an emergency proclamation to assist utility companies in repairs during the storm.

As of Tuesday evening, two deaths had been blamed on the storm in Arkansas and 56,000 homes were confirmed without power. Officials expected that number to change rapidly throughout the evening.


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