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Cole Offers Assistance to Families Affected by Severe Weather

May 8, 2003
Press Release

Washington D.C. – While watching severe weather once again strike the heartland, Congressman Tom Cole knew that even though the damage could be significant, Oklahomans were prepared and able to face the challenges of rebuilding.

"I am very concerned about the situation in Oklahoma and Cleveland Counties, but I know Oklahomans have an unbelievable resolve. When faced with challenges such as the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 and the devastating tornadoes of May 3, 1999 they quickly united to help their neighbors and rebuild their community. This time will be no different," Congressman Tom Cole said.

"Even more than some I know the uneasiness and anxiety that comes with severe weather. My home in Moore has been within a few hundred yards of the destruction path of a tornado twice in the past four years. Although my family has been spared, many others in Oklahoma have not been so lucky. I pray that they are safe and I want to assure them that we will do everything to help their lives and homes get pieced solidly back together."

Congressman Cole spoke to Mike Brown, Undersecretary for Emergency Preparedness and Response, FEMA and to the White House to ensure federal support as Oklahomans survey the damage and develop a plan to rebuild the homes and businesses in their neighborhood.

Cole also spoke to Governor Henry, General Johnson, the commander of Tinker Air Force Base, Albert Ashwood, Director of Oklahoma Civil Defense, state and local officials as well as civil emergency workers. These discussions focused on ways in which the federal government could assist local authorities in the rebuilding process.

Congressman Tom Cole's Norman Office, (405) 329-6500, will have a caseworker specifically assigned to help Oklahomans whose lives were disrupted from the severe weather that struck the Moore/Midwest City area. Congressman Cole took an early morning flight to Oklahoma to evaluate damage, meet with affected families and start working on a reconstruction plan.