Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe declared Dallas County a disaster area in an official proclamation Friday in response to storm damage in areas of the county including Fordyce that were struck by an EF2 tornado on Jan. 22.

Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe declared Dallas County a disaster area in an official proclamation Friday in response to storm damage in areas of the county including Fordyce that were struck by an EF2 tornado on Jan. 22.

The disaster declaration by the governor will speed up the process of getting rebuilding assistance and resources to residents and public entities in the county, the proclamation said.

The governor also authorized the state’s public assistance program to be used by the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management to provide supplemental disaster relief.

ADEM explains on its website that the public assistance program is designed to fill the gap between local recovery efforts and federal disaster assistance following a disaster situation.

“The program provides assistance to eligible applicants and facilities for debris removal, emergency protective measures, and permanent restoration of infrastructure.”

The assistance is only provided when the situation has clearly exceeded the capability of local government, according to the ADEM website.