More Than 400 Katrina Evacuees Still Living in Craighead County

AUGUST 22, 2006 - Posted at 3:18 p.m. CDT

DENTON, TX - As the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina approaches, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has released statistics showing that 13,982 survivors of the storm still show an Arkansas address.

That number is down from the peak number of 18,982 who lived in the Natural State in the immediate months after Katrina struck the Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005, leaving its mark in the record books as the largest natural disaster to ever hit the U.S.

"Arkansans opened their doors and hearts to the displaced victims of Hurricane Katrina," said William Peterson, regional director for FEMA Region VI in Denton, Texas.  "We appreciate the important role the state played in responding to this catastrophic event.  Everyone can be very proud of their efforts to help the evacuees begin to rebuild their lives."

According to FEMA, nearly 455,000 evacuees fled the Gulf Coast as a result of Katrina.  Of the 13,982 currently living in Arkansas, 6,906 are still receiving direct FEMA assistance.

FEMA says Craighead County has the sixth-largest number of Katrina refugees in Arkansas, with 428.  Pulaski County leads that category with 2,319 evacuees, followed by Garland County's 641; Sebastian County's 522; Washington County's 455 and Jefferson County's 429.