Disaster Recovery Center Opens in Region 8

April 17, 2006 – Posted at 4:39 p.m. CST

JONESBORO, AR – Sunday's federal disaster declaration will help get the ball rolling for victims affected by storms that rolled through Region 8 earlier this month.

If your home was damaged or destroyed in Conway, Cross, Fulton, Greene, Lawrence, Randolph or White counties you can call 1-800-621-FEMA to file an application for federal assistance. For a number of residents in Northeast Arkansas, April 2nd will be remembered as the day they lost everything because of a tornado.

"It's been real hard," said Gainesville resident Kim Holcomb, "Money-wise it has been tight. Tighter than it has ever been, so it's quite an adjustment."

Monday, residents across Northeastern Arkansas lined up at the Disaster Recovery Centers in Marmaduke and Wynne to find out how the government could assist them.

"We are signing up for FEMA to see if we can get something back," said Holcomb, "We lost it all, so I would like to get a little back. A trailer is our primary need. We just need somewhere to live."

FEMA public information officer Brad Craine spends his days helping people get back on their feet.

"They come down here and sit down face to face with one of our representatives to try to get them back on the road to recovery," said Craine.

Many residents like Holcomb are hoping the solution to their housing needs lie with the mobile homes being transported from Hope, Arkansas. Marmaduke already has the first shipment of homes in, but the town is expecting many more.

"We're going to have 25 moving every day this week, so we know we have at least another 100 coming in," said Greene County Judge Jesse Dollars.

With over 100 mobile homes making their way into the Marmaduke area, officials are working on finding a suitable location to place them.

"The mobile homes can't just be hooked up in someone's yard because of logistics, so we are looking at a park," said Craine.

Once a location is selected, officials expect the set up to move quickly.

"So far, everything is looking good. The sewer and water weren't damaged in any way and the electrical poles are already up, so I don't think it will be hard at all. I think they can set them up real fast," said Judge Dollars.

No time table has been set, but Judge Dollars hope the mobile homes will up and ready in the next two weeks. Marmaduke is still operating under a curfew that runs from dusk to daylight.