Oklahoma town considers desertion after tornadoes
| 05.12.2008 | 10:39:22 | Views: 4047 | ID:
May 12 '08: After the recent tornadoes which struck Oklahoma over the weekend, one town's residents are considering whether to rebuild their community, the Associated Press reported. Picher, Oklahoma with about 800 residents is also the location of a federal Superfund site - Tar Creek - and local officials said that the storm's destruction was enough for many community members to relocate.
John Sparkman, the head of the local housing authority told the AP, "I think people probably have had enough. ... There's just nothing to build back to any more." Currently, residents of Picher have received federal reimbursement checks to help them relocate due to the toxic environment which surrounds the town caused by the mining of heavy metals like zinc in the mid 20th century.Jeff Reeves, Fire Chief for Picher told the AP, "With everything else that's going on here, I'm not sure there is a recovery." AFP reported at least 22 people killed in the series of storms which stretched from Oklahoma east to Georgia. OK Gov. Brad Henry declared a state of emergency after 6,300 homes were without power - 3,000 of those homes were in the Tulsa area. Reuters reported on the extensive damage in Picher: "'Basically, a 24-block area is virtually destroyed,' said Michelann Ooten, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, adding that 150 residents were treated for injuries rangning from broken bones and serious lacerations to minor scrapes." National Blueprint Tags: Economic & Infrastructure, Citizen & Community.
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