Huckabee Tours Northeast Arkansas Tornado Damage Today

APRIL 4, 2006 - Posted at 7:43 a.m. CST, updated at 11:22 a.m., updated at 1:04 p.m.

WYNNE, AR - Governor Huckabee says areas of northeast Arkansas hit hard by tornadoes should be eligibile for federal aid.  Huckabee flew over a number of damaged areas before landing in Marmaduke today to get a first-hand look at the wreckage.  State legislators are already working to pass an assistance package.

No one was killed in Arkansas, but the storm system claimed 27 lives, 23 of them in Tennessee.

About half of the buildings in Marmaduke were destroyed.  An American Railcar Industries plant was damaged and the company shut down the facility.  A number of rail cars in inventory were also damaged.  The company says it is insured.

Huckabee did a helicopter fly-over of Marmaduke this morning before landing at approximately 10 a.m.

Huckabee has declared disaster areas in five Region 8 counties: Cross, Fulton, Greene, Randolph and White.  Disaster areas have also been declared in Conway and Hot Spring counties.  The governor also has released $200,000 from a disaster fund to help people with storm losses.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)