Arkansas Delegation United in Support of Beebe’s Request for Additional Disaster Assistance for State

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 expressed their support for Arkansas Governor Beebe’s request that Clay, Cleburne, Fulton, Independence, Izard, Jackson, Lawrence, Randolph, Sharp, Faulkner, and White Counties be added to the state’s major disaster declaration.

The full text of the delegation’s letters to FEMA Administrator Fugate and the President are below:

We are writing in support of Governor Mike Beebe’s request for the following counties to be added to FEMA 4174-DR-AR major disaster declaration under the Public Assistance Program Categories A through G: Clay, Cleburne, Fulton, Independence, Izard, Jackson, Lawrence, Randolph, Sharp, Faulkner, and White.

 On April 27, 2014, these counties experienced destructive storms and tornadoes that resulted in 16 fatalities, 153 reported injuries, power outages for over 35,000 electrical customers, hundreds of Arkansans being forced from their homes into temporary shelters, tremendous amounts of storm debris scattered throughout the affected communities, and extensive damage to critical infrastructure. 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 2013, the state received three major disaster declarations and this year the state has received two major disaster declarations. 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 the following counties be added to FEMA 4147-DR-AR under the Public Assistance Program for categories A through G: Clay, Cleburne, Fulton, Independence, Izard, Jackson, Lawrence, Randolph, Sharp, and White. We would also request that Faulkner County be declared for categories C through G of the Public Assistance Program.

 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 appreciate your responsiveness to past disaster requests and 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.