Beebe Adds Seven Region 8 Counties to Disaster List

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.  - Gov. Mike Beebe has declared 15

counties disaster areas, including seven in Region 8, because of damage caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ike.

This morning, Beebe declared Clay, Cleburne,  Greene,  Izard, Jackson, Randolph, and Sharp  counties state disaster areas because of the damage caused by the Sept. 13 and 14 storms.

The declaration makes it easier for local governments to coordinate with state emergency management and other state agencies during response and repair efforts. Additional disaster declarations or requests for federal assistance may follow as the state continues assessing damage from the storms, Beebe's office said.

Beebe declared 20 counties disaster areas following Hurricane Gustav, and 18 counties have qualified for federal assistance in response to that storm.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)