The state has received record rainfall amounts in October, and that rain has caused plenty of problems for the surrounding counties, from flooded roads and homes to washed out low-water crossings. Fulton County Judge Charles Willett says county crews are still assessing the total damage from all of the water. He estimates the damage at around $400,000, but adds that until they inspect all the areas in the county, that number could grow. "We had crews making repairs on Sunday so that the school buses would be able to get through," said Willett. "Far as I know, everybody got through this morning. We're fixing one bad spot south of Salem that fell in, but otherwise, the roads are well enough for both buses and mail carriers to get through, along with the general public."
Governor Beebe also received word from the U.S. Department of Agriculture this week that officials there are working toward approval of Arkansas's latest request for a Secretarial Disaster Designation. Arkansas is asking for a Secretarial Declaration for Ashley, Bradley, Calhoun, Chicot, Conway, Cross, Desha, Faulkner, Independence, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lincoln, Little River, Miller, Monroe, Perry, Phillips, Poinsett, Pope, Prairie, St. Francis, Union, White, Woodruff and Yell counties. If the declaration is issued, it will also apply to all counties bordering on counties covered by the declaration and provide emergency low-interest loans for farmers.
A Secretarial Declaration would be the second of the year in Arkansas related to flooding. A similar declaration provided loan opportunities beginning in June for farmers in 54 Arkansas counties.