LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- A total of 15 counties now are designated for federal disaster assistance as a result of the severe storms, tornadoes and high winds of January 21. Six Arkansas counties have been added to those previously declared eligible for federal and state assistance. Coverage for five other counties has expanded.
Officials of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Arkansas Office of Emergency Services (OES) report the following county additions and the assistance programs for which they qualify:
- Faulkner, Jefferson, Miller and Poinsett counties for Individual Assistance;
- Greene and Monroe counties for Individual Assistance and Public Assistance, all categories;
- Jackson and Randolph counties for all categories of Public Assistance.
Other counties, already designated for federal disaster assistance, are expanded to include:
- Clay, Independence, Pulaski, Saline and White counties for Individual Assistance and all categories of Public Assistance.
Lonoke County is eligible for Individual Assistance. St. Francis County is eligible for Individual Assistance and for grants to remove debris and to apply emergency protective measures.
"Counties have been added and categories of disaster assistance expanded following inspection and assessment of damages caused by the January storms. Individuals and businesses in these counties now can apply for aid," said David Maxwell, state coordinating officer.
The Individual Assistance designation means that residents are eligible to apply for disaster assistance, including disaster housing assistance; U.S. Small Business Administration loans to repair or replace storm-damaged property; and grants for serious needs and necessary expenses not met by other programs.
The Public Assistance designation means that communities and some non-profit agencies also are eligible for a share of the costs of emergency services, debris removal and to repair or replace public facilities such as roads, bridges, buildings and utilities.
"All affected residents in the declared counties who have not done so should seek aid by calling the FEMA registration line at 1-800-462-9029 or, for the hearing impaired, TTY 1-800-462-7585," said Graham Nance, federal coordinating officer.