Arkansas' congressional delegation announced $1.9 million in relief June 19 from the U.S. Department of Labor to create 127 temporary jobs to help with cleanup and recovery in regards to this year's tornadoes and flooding.
The federal money will help provide food, clothing, shelter and other assistance for disaster victims, according to Congressman Marion Berry.
Severe weather has caused a reported 26 deaths in Arkansas this year, including tornadoes that killed 13 people on Feb. 5 and another twister outbreak that killed seven on May 2.
"This funding will provide much needed assistance to so many who are still suffering from the aftermath of this year's severe weather, providing basic needs like food, clothing and shelter as well as temporary employment opportunities for those who have lost work," Berry said.
"As I have visited with those impacted across the district, I have been struck by the toll that the storms have taken and by the perseverance of Arkansas people. Arkansans are strong people and we will get through this tough time by working together to rebuild our communities and make them even better than before," Berry said.
The grant, awarded to the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, will fund temporary employment for the cleanup, demolition, repair, renovation and reconstruction of damaged structures and public lands within affected communities. Funds also will be used for projects that provide food, clothing, shelter and other types of humanitarian assistance.
"Thanks to the determined efforts of the members of our congressional delegation and the hard work of the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, we'll be able to provide temporary jobs for our people who might otherwise be out of work due to this spring's severe weather," Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe said.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has declared multiple counties in Arkansas as eligible for its public assistance program.
The state has targeted the counties of Baxter, Benton, Boone, Carroll, Conway, Izard, Madison, Marion, Monroe, Newton, Pope, Prairie, Pulaski, Saline, Searcy, Sharp, Stone and Washington for assistance through this grant.
National Emergency Grants are part of the Secretary of Labor's discretionary fund and are awarded based on a state's ability to meet specific guidelines. For more information, visit www.doleta.gov/NEG.