Chief declares State of Emergency following tornadoes
Principal Chief Bill John Baker declared a State of Emergency in the Cherokee Nation on Monday after tornadoes damaged homes and property in five Northeast Oklahoma counties. The tribe estimates that at least 822 Cherokee Nation citizens live in the affected area.
Chief Baker signed the proclamation authorizing all appropriate tribal resources and personnel to respond and activating the Cherokee Nation 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,” Chief 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.”
The tornadoes touched down Friday, Nov. 30, and left a path of destruction nearly 60 miles long through portions of Adair, Cherokee, Sequoyah, Delaware and Muskogee counties.
Chief Baker is asking President Trump to declare Cherokee Nation a major disaster area and that federal aid be provided to the tribe to assist in recovery and response efforts.
Cherokee Nation’s Emergency Management-Incident Management Team is asking Cherokee Nation citizens who were impacted by the storm to report their damage by calling 918-207-3871 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Cherokee citizens should include name, address, contact information, and a description of the damage.
Crews from the Cherokee Nation Marshal Service, Cherokee Nation EMS and Cherokee Nation Emergency Management-Incident Management Team worked throughout the weekend to coordinate response and recovery efforts in affected counties.
On Monday, Cherokee Nation Facilities Management and Human Services departments also dispatched personnel and equipment into impacted communities to begin assisting Cherokee citizens with clean up.