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Assistance comes for wildfire victims


NOBLE, Okla. — Cleveland County was among the hardest hit areas in the August wildfires.

Now, federal assistance is finally available for residents and businesses affected.

FEMA has partnered with the state to get assistance to the disaster-stricken area.

The agencies set up a disaster recovery center at the 12 Corners Baptist Church at 15601 E. Etowah Rd. in Noble.

There people can get one-on-one assistance with recovery funds.

Walking into the disaster recovery center, Tracy Montgomery said she hopes she can rebuild after the wildfire destroyed her home and everything in it.

“We lost everything we owned except for a box of pictures,” Montgomery said.

She is one of nearly 200 whose homes were destroyed in the Cleveland County fire that burned 15 square miles.

Two months later, those people piled into the disaster recovery center.

“They’re going to help with personal property, try to get things like washer and dryer and the necessities,” Montgomery said.

Officials with FEMA said often times it can provide money for those necessities or funding for a place to live but since it can be difficult to know what you need or how to sign up for assistance, directors hope the center can help.

“They’ve been working hard to deal with what they’ve lost and in a lot of cases, people lost their entire livelihood,” OK Emergency Management’s Michelann Ooten said. “So hopefully they’ll be able to start the road to recover here.”

Small businesses affected by the fire can get disaster loans at the center as well through the Small Business Administration.

Volunteers with other organizations are on hand to help people recover lost documents.

Meanwhile, standing in the recovery line, Montgomery stays positive.

“It’s hard, it’s difficult,” Montgomery said. “If FEMA can help, that’d be great.”

The recovery center will be open here for as long as it is needed.

Monday – Saturday: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Hours will change to Monday through Saturday after Oct. 7.

Volunteers ask those who need assistance register through FEMA by phone before coming to the center at 1-800-621-FEMA.