Obama Declares Major Disaster in Oklahoma, White House Says

Flipped vehicles are piled up outside the heavily damaged Moore Medical Center after a powerful tornado ripped through the area on May 20, 2013 in Moore, Oklahoma. Photograph: Brett Deering via Getty Images Close

Flipped vehicles are piled up outside the heavily damaged Moore Medical Center after a... Read More

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Flipped vehicles are piled up outside the heavily damaged Moore Medical Center after a powerful tornado ripped through the area on May 20, 2013 in Moore, Oklahoma. Photograph: Brett Deering via Getty Images

U.S. President Barack Obama declared a major disaster in Oklahoma and ordered the availability of federal financial aid after a tornado earlier today devastated the town of Moore, killing at least 51 people.

The president’s declaration makes U.S. government funding available to people affected by the storm in five Oklahoma counties, according to a White House statement issued tonight. The assistance includes grants to cover home repair and temporary housing costs, along with loans to help pay for uninsured property losses, the White House said.

The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency continues to conduct damage assessments in the affected areas, and additional assistance may be made available depending on the results, the White House said. Funding will also be available to the state and eligible local governments in the area.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Shepard in Washington at mshepard7@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Pete Young at pyoung13@bloomberg.net

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