LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has submitted his request for a Federal Disaster Declaration to President Donald Trump for Conway, Crawford, Faulkner, Jefferson, Perry, Pulaski, Sebastian, and Yell counties in Arkansas due to the historic flooding along the Arkansas River.
Late Saturday, the government announced that Trump will provide federal aid.
“It’s important to note that these are early estimates on damages from a flood of historic proportion, and there’s no doubt in my mind that the final damage assessments will be record breaking, as well,” Hutchinson said in a Friday news release.
“These preliminary estimates are based upon assessments while the water is still in place. As the water recedes, we will have a clearer picture of the overall damage in the state, but it’s important to get this information in as quickly as possible so that the President can have the information needed to act.”
Preliminary damage assessments (PDAs) estimated a cost of $27,198,644 is needed to cover the cost of temporary housing, repair, and replacement housing, as well as provide for other needs required by citizens of these communities. Estimates for debris removal and emergency protective measure for local and state government is estimated at $8,582,910. As stated in the request, the state expects the additional infrastructure losses to be in excess of $100 million.
“We are able to request a federal disaster declaration at this early stage because of the outstanding coordination between our local, state and federal partners,” said A.J. Gary, Director of the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM). “The leadership and support from Governor Hutchinson has allowed us to conduct damage assessments as quickly as possible and begin the recovery process to assist those citizens impacted.”
The request is for individual assistance, which could help homeowners and renters recover from this major disaster and for public assistance, which could assist governmental agencies and certain non-profits with reimbursement for debris removal and emergency protective measures.
Additional jurisdictions may be added to this declaration if requested by the state and warranted by damage incurred from the flood event. More information will be provided as it becomes available.