OKMULGEE, Oklahoma – Storms wrung out a massive amount of rainfall on the evening of May 4 which resulted in flooding that affected several parts of the Mvskoke Reservation, including the tribal nation’s capital of Okmulgee.
On the morning of May 5, Principal Chief David Hill signed Executive Order 22-01 declaring a State of Emergency as part of the tribal hazard mitigation plan so that the Nation could maximize recovery and restoration with federal FEMA funding for disasters.
At MCN headquarters, the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Lighthorse Police Department, Office of Child Care, Human Services and Mvskoke Media buildings took on water.
“We did have a good response in having a better plan than we did a year ago,” MCN Press Secretary Jason Salsman said. “Because unfortunately this happened last year.”
The area is a known floodplain for the tribal complex.
MCN Emergency Management’s Bobby Howard had been briefing tribal leadership throughout the week of chances for severe weather. By Wednesday afternoon, Howard started tracking storms which led to the department, first responders and LHPD deploying within and on the edges of the Mvskoke Reservation.
As impacts have occurred, MCN responders have provided water rescues by boats, by officers with coordination with Choctaw, Cherokee and Osage Nations along with other tribal emergency managers.
The area of Seminole was hit by a tornado, where Howard said his department along with LHPD officers have worked with Seminole Nation and Seminole County to provide assistance.
Water was moved to Cromwell to support the lack of water due to power outages within Seminole County as well as a water buffalo made available at one of the Muscogee (Creek) baptist churches in Okemah.
“We have a plan, it’s worked very well during this event and continues to keep the Nation moving forward,” Howard said.
Last year, MCN National Council amended legislation for the Natural Disaster Assistance Program through MCN Social Services for Muscogee (Creek) citizens affected by natural disasters, which includes floods.
Assistance includes replacement of necessity items such as clothing, personal hygiene, groceries, furniture, and/or emergency shelter and utility costs. Assistance is up to $7,500 per fiscal year.
For more information about MCN Natural Disaster Assistance, citizens can visit: https://www.muscogeenation.com/services/social-services/natural-disaster-assistance/.