Baker declares state of emergency following tornadoes

BY STAFF REPORTS
12/04/2018 09:15 AM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Cherokee Nation Facilities Management crews help clean up debris caused by tornadoes on Nov. 30 that affected portions of Adair, Cherokee Sequoyah, Delaware and Muskogee counties. COURTESY
TAHLEQUAH – Principal Chief Bill John Baker declared a state of emergency in the Cherokee Nation on Dec. 3 after tornadoes damaged homes and property in five northeast Oklahoma counties.

According to a CN press release, tribal officials estimate that at least 822 CN citizens live in the affected area.

The release states Baker signed the proclamation authorizing all appropriate tribal resources and personnel to respond and activating the CN Emergency Operations Center to assess the damage.

“The Cherokee Nation will continue assessing the damages and will provide whatever assistance our citizens and neighbors need during this time,” Baker said. “As the damages suffered are substantial and many will have to repair properties and homes, we are thankful that at this time there have been no reports of loss of life due to the severe weather, and appreciate our local storm trackers and news stations for issuing warnings that gave ample amount of time for individuals and families to take necessary precautions during the storm.”

According to the release, tornadoes touched down on Nov. 30 and left a path of destruction nearly 60 miles long through portions of Adair, Cherokee, Sequoyah, Delaware and Muskogee counties.

The release states that Baker is asking President Trump to declare CN a major disaster area and that federal aid be provided to the tribe to assist in recovery and response efforts.

According to the release, CN Emergency Management-Incident Management Team is asking CN citizens impacted by the storm to report their damage by calling 918-207-3871 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. or by emailing bradley-wagnon@cherokee.org. CN citizens should include name, address, contact information, and a description of the damage, the release states.

Crews from the CN Marshal Service, EMS and Emergency Management-Incident Management Team worked throughout the weekend to coordinate response and recovery efforts in affected counties, the release states.

On Dec. 3, CN Facilities Management and Human Services departments also dispatched personnel and equipment into impacted communities to begin assisting CN citizens with clean up, according to the release.

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