WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Senators Mark Pryor and John Boozman, along with Congressmen Rick Crawford (AR-1), Tim Griffin (AR-2), Steve Womack (AR-3), and Tom Cotton (AR-4) today sent letters to President Obama and FEMA Administrator Fugate supporting Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe’s request for a major disaster declaration for Faulkner County following devastating tornadoes and severe storms in the Mayflower and Vilonia areas.
The full text can be found below:
We are writing in support of Governor Mike Beebe’s request for a major disaster declaration for Faulkner County.
On April 27, 2014, Faulkner County experienced destructive storms and tornadoes. Present estimates total 15 fatalities, power outages for 15,000 electrical customers, approximately 276 Arkansans forced from their homes into temporary shelters, and tremendous amounts of storm debris scattered throughout the affected communities. Early observations indicate that the most severe impact was to homes, businesses, roadways and public facilities.
The last few years have been particularly difficult for Arkansans who have had to recover and rebuild from various natural disasters. In fact, some of the very places damaged a mere three years ago were impacted by the most recent tornadoes. As we see in many crises, Arkansans have come to the aid of their neighbors, family, and friends, but further assistance is needed.
Pursuant to the provision of Section 401 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 5121-5207 (Stafford Act), and implemented by 44 CFR § 206.36, we ask that Arkansas receive a major disaster declaration for Faulkner County. We would also like to specifically request Individual Assistance, Public Assistance (Categories A-B), and Direct Federal Assistance for Faulkner County. We would also request Hazard Mitigation statewide.
As you know, the State of Arkansas and its rural districts are working tirelessly to save lives and begin the process of cleaning up and ultimately rebuilding. All available resources at the state and local level, including the Arkansas National Guard, are being used, but greater federal assistance is needed to help our communities recover. Arkansas is a predominantly rural state and this series of disasters has exceeded the ability of our local government to respond. The past several years have been particularly difficult for Arkansas residents due to numerous severe weather events. We appreciate the financial assistance received as a result of several federal disaster and emergency declarations, many of which impacted the same communities still in the recovery process, and the quick, comprehensive response of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. We hope that a similar response will follow this disaster.
We respectfully request your swift consideration and approval of this request. If you have any questions or need additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us.