WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Joe Biden has approved a major disaster declaration for Arkansas in response to tornadoes that ripped through the state on Dec. 10.

FEMA announced that federal disaster assistance is available to the Arkansas to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by severe storms and tornadoes from Dec. 10-11. 

The President’s action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in Craighead, Jackson, Mississippi, Poinsett and Woodruff counties.

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

Jerry S. Thomas has been named the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected areas. Additional designations may be made at a later date if warranted by the results of damage assessments.

“Just in time for Christmas, President Biden approved [a] major disaster declaration for Arkansas for December tornadoes/storms,” Hutchinson said. “Individual assistance will be available. Thanks for quick response.”

A major disaster being declared in Arkansas will open a wide range of federal assistance programs for individuals and public infrastructure, including funds for both emergency and permanent work.

There were 11 confirmed tornadoes in Arkansas from the Dec. 10 storm that ripped through the upper south and lower Midwest. One tornado in Arkansas was rated an EF4 and two others EF2s.

The northeast part of Arkansas was the hardest hit by storms, with the towns of Monette, Leachville and Trumann being at the forefront of the damage.

Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated areas can begin applying for assistance by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362. If you use a relay service, such as video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA the number for that service.