Senator Lincoln and FEMA Visit Randolph County

POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT)- Thirty five counties in Arkansas have now been declared Federal Disaster Areas.

For that reason Senator Blanche Lincoln and FEMA reppresentatives took a walking tour of Pocahontas' most badly damaged neighborhoods on Monday.

"It's heartbreaking because you see that it's just not our state, it's different communities, it's individuals.  You walk in these homes where these elderly people have been living, and they've lost everything," said Senator Blanche Lincoln.

Inside the home of the Patrick Manor Senior Living Community is a grim reminder of the waters that flowed through last week leaving many residents displaced.

But outside, Senator Lincoln took a moment to thank the Pocahontas Fire Chief, noting that the local efforts kept the flood waters from getting even worse.

"We have remarkable people on the ground.  Our local people have stepped in and put some heavy muscle into preventing even more devastation than what happened," said Lincoln.

And looking down on the temporary dam constructed over the weekend, FEMA echoed those thoughts.

"This dam shows that they did quite a bit of work.  They worked very hard, and the folks in this community are very fortunate," said Charles Powell with FEMA.

But the present progress must turn to the long term goals of recovery.

"I wouldn't call it a slow process, but it certainly is not goign to happen over night.  Some of the people being housed, those things are happening pretty fast, but it takes a while to recover, especially because flooding is long, long term," said Powell.

It's a long time that Senator Lincoln home to shorten by being proactive.

"We will work very closely with FEMA.  We will stay in contact with them and with the local officials to make sure the needs are met.  That's the key here," said Lincoln.

Both Lincoln and FEMA continued their tour into Batesville later in the afternoon.

If you need assistance from FEMA you can call them at 1-800-621-FEMA.

You must call this number to register before any additional assessments can be made.

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