Disaster declarations in 37 Ark counties

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - President Barack Obama has declared 37 Arkansas counties major disaster area, making them available for assistance in rebuilding infrastructure.

Gov. Mike Beebe's office announced Wednesday that Obama granted his request for the declaration so the counties can get federal money to repair damage from storms and flooding in May.

Counties under the declaration are Arkansas, Bradley, Calhoun, Chicot, Clark, Cleveland, Conway, Dallas, Drew, Fulton, Grant, Greene, Hempstead, Hot Spring, Howard, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lee, Lincoln, Little River, Marion, Miller, Monroe, Nevada, Ouachita, Perry, Phillips, Pike, Poinsett, Polk, Prairie, St. Francis, Saline, Searcy, Stone, and Union.

The counties are eligible for federal assistance to cover 75% of damages to public infrastructure. That includes utility systems, roads and bridges and debris removal.

Arkansas counties are also eligible for assistance under the federal Hazard Mitigation Grant Program to better prepare for future natural disasters.

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