The Norman Transcript

Editorials

May 25, 2013

We are disaster central

NORMAN — Oklahoma is disaster central. Per capita, the state has had more tornadoes and natural catastrophes than any other state.

Texas and California have had more but they are much larger and have far more people than Oklahoma.

A presidential disaster declaration database examined by the Associated Press found Oklahoma has had 74 disasters declared in the past 60 years. Those include floods, tornadoes, fires and blizzards.

We’re No. 1 in tornado disasters and No. 3 for flooding, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Drought disaster declarations are handled by another federal agency.

The AP reports that of the 25 U.S. counties that have declared disasters the most times since 1953, nine were in Oklahoma, the highest total of any state.

Oklahoma officials estimate the Moore tornado caused up to $2 billion in damage. Joplin totaled $2.8 billion and was the nation’s costliest tornado since 1950, the AP reports.

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