Oklahoma Mayor Declares 59 Counties Disaster Areas

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Forecasters say more severe weather may be on the way in Oklahoma where a band of thunderstorms dropped as much as 10 inches in some areas in a matter of hours.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reports 136 people suffered minor injuries.

Firefighters helping a 17-year-old girl escape swift floodwaters were forced to cling to treetops and await rescue themselves.

Lt. Gov. Jari Askins has declared a state of emergency for 59 Oklahoma counties at the request of Gov. Brad Henry, who is out of state.

The disaster declaration is a formal step that allows local governments to be reimbursed for storm-related costs through a state public assistance program. It also paves the way for federal assistance.

Askins says additional counties could be added to the disaster declaration.

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