Cherokee Nation Principal Chief declares state of emergency


Snow packed roads persist along U.S. Highway 62 just north of Tahlequah, Okla., in Cherokee County

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker declared a state of emergency Monday for the Cherokee Nation, which includes all or part of 14-counties in northeast Oklahoma.

The declaration clears the way for the Cherokee Nation to disperse emergency funds to assist citizens who may need assistance with food or water, utilities, shelter or emergency transportation. It is also the first step toward seeking federal assistance, if necessary.

“These are extremely harsh conditions we’re facing, and it’s our duty to protect and assist our citizens during this time of need,” Chief Baker said. “For many tribal elders in particular, we are their lifeline and perhaps their only means of support during the dangerous and potentially life-threatening emergency unfolding.”

A snowstorm on Friday covered roadways in northeast Oklahoma, bringing some Cherokee Nation communities as much as eight inches of snow. Schools in the area remain closed and many communities are still digging out from the storm.

Two teams of emergency crews were activated Saturday and Monday to help transport elder citizens who were shut in by ice and snow to dialysis treatments. The teams transported at least eight Cherokee citizens, many wheelchair bound, from Adair, Cherokee and Delaware counties, to the dialysis center in Tahlequah. The Cherokee Nation continues to stand by to assist citizens in need.

Chief Baker also expressed his sincere thanks to those employees who braved the elements to ensure that critical services continued without interruption for Cherokee citizens.

Cherokee citizens who have an emergency need related to the snowstorm can call 918-453-5668.

Cherokee Nation News Release
For Media Inquiries:
Julie Hubbard 918-207-3896 

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