The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM) began preliminary damage assessments on Nov. 9, for the counties in the state that experienced damages as a result of the tornados, severe thunderstorms and flooding that began on Oct. 29.
ADEM teams are working with FEMA teams to complete the assessments as quickly as possible in order to ask for federal assistance for the state. The following counties were declared disaster areas in the state Nov. 7 by Arkansas Governor Mike Bebee: Arkansas, Boone, Bradley, Calhoun, Carroll, Chicot, Cleburne, Cleveland, Columbia, Conway, Cross, Dallas, Drew, Faulkner, Franklin, Fulton, Grant, Independence, Izard, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Lafayette, Lawrence, Lee, Lincoln, Logan, Lonoke, Marion, Miller, Monroe, Nevada, Newton, Ouachita, Poinsett, Prairie, Pulaski, Randolph, Saline, Scott, Sharp, St. Francis, Union, Van Buren, White and Woodruff.
In Fulton County, crews worked over the weekend to repair low water crossings within the county. According to County Judge Charles Willett, only one road remained closed as of Monday, Crownwood Road, and crews hope to have that opened by the end of the week. "Every time we have to replace the slabs at a low water crossing, we're looking at between $10,000 and $12,000 in cost," said Judge Willett. "FEMA reps are in the area and making their assessments now. We'll know a lot more as to the total damage done once they've finished their assessments."
As for road grading, Fulton County has 596 roads, and only nine graders, so people need to be patient as the grading crews get to work this week. "It will take several days to get to every road -- it's just a lot to do right now, but our crews are out there, getting the job done," said Judge Willett.
For more information on public assistance and individual assistance, residents can check the Disaster Recovery Block on the ADEM homepage on the Web at www.adem.arkansas.gov.