OKLAHOMA CITY — Governor Mary Fallin has approved the transfer of $1.8 million from the state emergency fund so Oklahoma could qualify for federal funds needed to repair flood control structures damaged last year.

“These structures are absolutely vital to protect Oklahomans and their property should the state receive record rainfall again like it did last year,” said Fallin.

Fallin praised U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Cheyenne, for his help in securing additional funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.

“The devastating floods throughout Oklahoma last year emphasized the importance of maintaining and repairing dams and watersheds throughout our state,” said Lucas. “Every dollar devoted to these critical rehabilitation projects will have an extraordinary impact in protecting the lives and property of Oklahomans.”

The agency’s emergency watershed protection program will help repair more than 60 structures in 16 counties damaged by last spring’s floods.

Oklahoma has more than 2,100 small watershed upstream flood control dams, a number that is tops in the nation, to slow flood waters in streams and creeks. Those impoundments prevented more than $91 million in flood damages last May, when the state was beset by torrential rains, according to USDA figures.