FEMA Standard Unmet, but Beebe Says Lack of Aid "Defies Common Sense"

MARCH 6, 2007 - Posted at 7:39 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - The February 24 tornado outbreak in Arkansas did not generate enough uninsured losses to reach the threshold for federal assistance. But Governor Mike Beebe says it still ``defies common sense'' to hold back aid.

Beebe says he is frustrated that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has not replied to his request for assistance. Dozens of homes and businesses were wiped out in Dumas and dozens of people were injured.

The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management says the state did not have uninsured damage to public property of $3.2 million, the minimum for FEMA aid.

Beebe wants the assistance anyway. The state is asking FEMA to supply travel trailers, to assist businesses and for other help.

FEMA spokesman James McIntyre says the matter is under review. He would not comment on complaints by Beebe and by Congressman Mike Ross.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)