Arkansas Delegation Supports Governor’s Request for Major Disaster Declaration

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Boozman, Sara Lasure or Matthew Wester

Cotton, Caroline Tabler or Patrick McCann

Crawford, Sara Robertson

Hill, Brooke Nethercott

Womack, Olivia Tripodi

Westerman, Sarah Henderson

Arkansas Delegation Supports Governor’s Request for Major Disaster Declaration

5/29/2024

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton—along with Congressmen Steve Womack, Rick Crawford, French Hill and Bruce Westerman—wrote to President Joe Biden urging him to support Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ request for a major disaster declaration as a result of severe storms in Benton, Boone and Marion Counties on May 26.

“We encourage the president to quickly approve federal aid to help speed up recovery efforts in Arkansas,” members said. 

The letter can be found here and below:

Dear Mr. President:

On behalf of the State of Arkansas, we are writing to support Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ request to declare a major disaster, pursuant to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief Act, as a result of severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding that began on May 24, 2024, and are continuing.

As Governor Sanders noted in her request, the severity of this event created disastrous amounts of debris, severe infrastructure damage, and resulted in the deaths of at least nine citizens and injured countless others. Arkansans will continue to feel the destructive impact of this storm as we work to rebuild.  

Preliminary damage estimates conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency show major impacts to local jurisdictions in Benton, Boone, and Marion Counties exceeding an estimated $6.4 million in damages. At least 217 homes were destroyed with an additional 94 sustaining major damage. In total, over 478 homes were affected by the storms, leaving a large number of Arkansans displaced and many counties left without power for days. 

Despite facing significant hardships from the severe storm, Arkansans have demonstrated remarkable resourcefulness and resilience. Communities from across the state have come together to support one another during this challenging time. But as it stands, we believe the magnitude of this weather event warrants supplemental federal assistance. The above-mentioned counties have seen homes, businesses, and important infrastructure severely damaged, and federal government resources will be critical in restoration efforts.

The entire Arkansas delegation is eager to assist in any way possible to ensure expedited evaluation of this request. Please do not hesitate to contact our offices with any questions. We thank you for your support, and respectfully ask for your attention and assistance in providing the resources necessary to ensure the safety and full recovery of Arkansans.

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