Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb has declared a state of emergency for 56 Oklahoma counties due to a winter storm that is pounding the state.
Lamb issued the declaration early Monday afternoon at the request of Gov. Mary Fallin, who is in Washington for a meeting of the National Governors Association. The counties included in the emergency declaration stretch across western, central and northern Oklahoma.
The declaration allows state agencies to make emergency disaster relief purchases and is a necessary first step toward seeking federal assistance, if necessary.
A powerful winter storm with blizzard conditions moving into the state already has prompted the closure of highways in the Oklahoma Panhandle, where wind gusts and heavy snow have created whiteout conditions.Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.