Berry Disappointed in Lack of Federal Disaster Declaration for Northeast Arkansas Counties

APRIL 10, 2006 - Posted at 3:46 p.m. CST

WASHINGTON - Congressman Marion Berry expressed frustration and disappointment today over the lack of a federal disaster declaration in order to make federal assistance available to victims of the severe storms and tornadoes that caused extensive damage to northeast Arkansas and two other counties in the state on April 2.

The storms damaged or destroyed over 1,000 residences and other buildings in Cross, Fulton, Greene, Lawrence, Randolph and White counties in Region 8, plus Conway County.

"These storms caused a tremendous burden and while the communities have come together to help one another, further assistance is necessary so that those affected can begin putting their lives back in order," said Berry.  "There is no excuse why one week later we are still waiting for a federal disaster declaration."

The First District Democrat toured stricken areas on April 3 and April 4, and has sent letters to President George W. Bush and Governor Mike Huckabee, and has called FEMA Acting Director R. David Paulison requesting expeditious consideration of a federal disaster declaration.  Berry says he has also requested that FEMA mobile homes stored in Hope be used for temporary housing and classroom space.

"It is time for FEMA to step up and provide assistance in order to help those affected recover," said Berry.