U.S. Rep. Marion Berry recently announced that the United States Department of Agriculture has stepped in to assist those who were affected by the Sept. 22 storms that swept through portions of northeast Arkansas and southern Missouri.
The USDA issued a formal disaster declaration, making residents and business owners in Fulton, Izard, Sharp, Jackson, Lawrence, Poinsett, Randolph, Independence, Stone, Clay, Craighead, Greene and Mississippi counties eligible for Farm Service Agency low-interest loans.
Immediately following the storms that took two lives and caused thousands of dollars in damage, Gov. Mike Huckabee activated recovery service grants through the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management and the Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services to aid homeowners with uninsured losses.
These state grants were provided through Oct. 10; according to Berry, it was not enough.
"It is the responsiblitiy of the federal government to step in and help citizens recover from serious natural disasters ... the federal government will help them get back on their feet," he said.
Now that a federal agency is offering support, funds for emergency assistance will be available through June 2007.
Those interested in applying for financial assistance can contact their local Farm Service Agency. In Fulton County call 895-3201; in Izard County call 368-4413.