Those Impacted By Storms Wait For Word On Federal Assistance

Jul 9, 2014

Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe said Wednesday he’s waiting to hear back on his request for federal disaster assistance for areas in east Arkansas impacted by flooding.

Much of the damage was sustained by farmers who lost crops during torrential rains on June 29.  Subsequent rainfall has only made the situation worse.

“We’ve got it in to the feds. We’ll just have to wait and see," Beebe told KUAR.  "They have to do assessments and that’s going on as we speak."

Tuesday the governor visited impacted areas, some by boat, to get a firsthand look.  He called it "devastating and terrible." 

The declaration would cover 10 counties and allow farmers and ranchers to apply for emergency loans through the Farm Service Agency.

Beebe also saw several homes with standing water inside.

"What was really sad was, and there weren’t a lot of them, but 20 to 25 houses that are uninhabitable because of flooding in the Brinkley area.  And you know those folks didn’t have flood insurance,” Beebe said.

The American Red Cross opened a shelter Tuesday night at First Baptist Church in Brinkley, providing cots and snacks for residents as they wait for water to recede.

Beebe said it's unclear what assistance might be available for those homeowners because "a lot of those things are based upon huge numbers.  So even though it’s not a lot of folks, to those people that are hit, it is.”

Officials say it will take several days of dry weather before people can return to some areas.