Joe Biden approves Arkansas disaster declaration

President Joe Biden on Tuesday declared a major disaster in Arkansas. As part of the declaration, he ordered federal assistance to supplement state and local recovery efforts in areas affected by severe storms, including strong winds and tornadoes, that occurred June 25-26 in parts of the state.

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders requested federal assistance, noting that the storms “caused severe damage across Central Arkansas and the Delta.”

“As these communities continue to recover, my administration has determined that the disaster’s impact was widespread enough to qualify our state for a federal Major Disaster Declaration,” she said.

Sanders said the additional assistance “will prove critical to Arkansas’ rebuilding efforts.”

The late-June storms caused extensive damage to private property and public facilities. A joint state and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) preliminary damage assessment on July 24 found the storm was enough damage to qualify communities for FEMA’s Public Assistance Program.

Under Biden’s declaration, federal funding, on a cost-sharing basis, will be available to state, tribal and eligible local governments and certain nonprofits for emergency work to repair or replace facilities damaged by the storms, straight-line winds and tornadoes in three Arkansas counties, including Faulkner, Lonoke and Poinsett.

Cost-sharing funding will also be available for hazard mitigation.

FEMA agent Roland Jackson has been appointed to coordinate federal recovery in the affected areas.

Additional declarations may still be made if warranted as further damage assessments are underway.

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