LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- State and federal officials announce that more than $1.7 million in disaster aid has been approved for residents in Ashley, Miller, Polk, and Sevier counties who are recovering from the severe storms and tornadoes of April 9.
Recovery information is as follows:
$922,000 is approved to help disaster-affected Arkansans with temporary housing and home repairs.
$645,000 is approved for U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest loans for homeowners. SBA loans are the largest source of disaster funds for making substantial repairs or rebuilding damaged structures to their pre-disaster condition. Actual loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant's financial condition. The low-interest disaster loans are available to homeowners, renters and business owners.
$191,000 is approved for the repair or replacement of personal property, transportation, medical, dental and funeral expenses.
1,544 homes were visited by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Arkansas Department of Emergency Management Community Relations (CR) specialists. They have talked with more than 1,656 residents and visited 405 businesses. CR has shared recovery information with faith-based and community-based organizations in the disaster-affected counties. Specialists assisted residents in Ashley County without telephone service register for assistance by using FEMA cell phones.
913 residents registered for assistance by calling FEMA's toll-free registration number: 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585. Lines are open daily from 8 a.m. to midnight until further notice. Multilingual operators are also available. Online registration can be done at www.fema.gov or www.disasterassistance.gov
- 902 people visited Disaster Recovery Centers(DRCs) to talk face to face with recovery specialists, get help filling out an SBA loan application and check the status of their applications. One DRC in Polk County will remain open until May 29, 2009.
The address and schedule follows:
Polk County (closing at 6 p.m. on May 29)
St. Agnes Catholic Church Parish Hall
207 N. 8th Street
Mena, Arkansas 71953
Saturday (May 23) 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Closed on Sunday (May 24) and Monday, Memorial Day (May 25)
Tuesday through Friday (May 26-29) 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
537 residents have received free information from FEMA mitigation specialists on how to rebuild using disaster-resistant techniques. These specialists are at several local building supply stores throughout the disaster area.
506 damage inspections are complete. Those who are scheduled for an inspection are reminded to keep their appointments
25 temporary housing units have been placed in Polk County to assist those displaced by the tornadoes. FEMA and the state implement this type of temporary housing as a last resort when rental properties are non-existent.
- People living or working in Ashley, Miller, Polk and Sevier counties whose jobs have been affected by recent severe storms may be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) from the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services. DUA claims may be filed at the following locations:
- Miller and Sevier counties—Texarkana Local Office, 1702 Hampton Road in Texarkana (870-216-4011)
- Polk County—Mena local office, 601 C. Highway 72 North (479-394-3060).
- Ashley County—El Dorado Local Office, 5...