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Arkansas Disaster Recovery Update

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Release date: 
January 29, 1999
Release Number: 

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Federal, state, local and voluntary agencies are working in partnership to help Arkansas residents following recent severe storms and tornadoes. The following is a summary of ongoing response and recovery efforts to date.

  • The first disaster housing checks totaling $51,636 have been approved for those eligible people who have had damage to their dwellings as a result of recent storms and tornadoes.

  • As of Thursday afternoon, January 28, a total of 1,788 people with storm damage had registered for possible federal assistance. That number includes 31 in Clay County, 208 in Independence County, 23 in Lonoke County, 1,000 in Pulaski County, 78 in Saline County, 34 in St. Francis County and 414 in White. In addition, 97 people from counties not designated eligible for federal assistance have registered. To register, one must call FEMA's registration number 1-800-462-9029 (TTY 1-800-462-7585 for speech and hearing impaired persons) between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. daily.

  • On Wednesday, January 27, FEMA opened four Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) to offer victims of the severe storms and tornadoes an opportunity to meet with recovery experts and learn more about the various disaster assistance programs. They are located in Pulaski,, Saline and White counties. On Thursday, January 28, FEMA opened an additional DRC in Newark, Arkansas.

  • Following additional damage assessments, Clay and Lonoke counties were added to the federal declaration area on Thursday, January 28. The designation means that homeowners, renters and businesses of all seven counties are eligible for disaster assistance which includes disaster housing assistance, low-interest loans to repair or replace storm-damaged property, or grants for serious needs and necessary expenses not met by other programs.

  • Through Thursday, January 28, Small Business Administration (SBA) reported that over 750 individuals and businesses were referred to SBA for disaster loan assistance. Also this week, SBA personnel participated with other agencies in two community meetings attended by over 200 community residents.

  • On Thursday afternoon and evening, January 21, 1998, severe storms and tornadoes swept across Arkansas. The National Weather Service estimated that a record 38 twisters touched down. No other state has experienced that many tornadoes in one day.

  • Eight people were killed and 55 were injured by the storms. A total of 1,768 residences were damaged or destroyed, of which 1,498 are within designated counties. Total businesses destroyed or damaged are 135 businesses of which 134 are within the designated counties. A total of 35 agricultural buildings were damaged or destroyed. Ten public buildings were damaged or destroyed. An estimated 63,500 customers lost electrical service according to Entergy Arkansas, Inc.

  • James Lee Witt, director of FEMA, toured disaster areas of Arkansas on Saturday, January 23. President Clinton visited disaster areas on Sunday, January 24.

  • In downtown Little Rock, the historic Quapaw Quarter , an area known for its handsomely restored homes and businesses, experienced major damage. Preliminary surveys of central Little Rock found that 800 structures were damaged. Of the total, 479 were still usable and 253 were not.
Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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