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Federal disaster declaration issued for two Oklahoma counties

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - President Bush issues a federal disaster declaration today for Oklahoma, a move that frees federal funds to aid two counties in the state ravaged by recent flooding.

The declaration came as hopes remained that a relatively dry weekend forecast may help stave off flooding in the Red River Valley area in southern Oklahoma and aid residents in northern Oklahoma as they continue to assess and clean up flood damage.

The two counties named in the federal disaster declaration are Ottawa and Washington in northeastern Oklahoma, although the declaration notes that more counties could be added to the list as damage surveys are completed.

The issuing of the federal disaster declaration means that residents in those counties affected by the flooding can receive assistance including grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses.

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