Press Releases

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 a letter to the President and FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate in support of Governor Mike Beebe’s request for a major disaster declaration for six counties in Arkansas.

The delegation’s letter comes in response to severe storms and flooding in August that caused extensive power outages and storm debris. The state and local communities are working to clean up and rebuild, but federal assistance is needed to fully recover.

The following is full text of the letter:

We are writing in support of Governor Mike Beebe’s request for a major disaster declaration for the following counties in Arkansas: Benton, Boone, Carroll, Madison, Marion, and Newton.  

Beginning on August 8, 2013, and continuing through August 14, 2013, these counties experienced destructive storms and disastrous flooding.  The storms brought elevated winds and more than 15 inches of rain, which broke several all-time records. The storms caused power outages for 4,000 electrical customers and left the affected communities inundated with tremendous amounts of storm debris. Preliminary assessments indicate that the most severe impact was to roadways and public facilities. As we see in many crises, people have come to the aid of their neighbors and the state has worked tirelessly to mitigate loss, 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 these counties due to the damage assessed.  We would also like to specifically request Public Assistance (Categories A-G) for the counties listed above and 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.