Emergency funding multi-county effort
Immediately following the official Quorum Court agenda items Monday night, Drew County Judge Robert Akin briefed the court and the community on his and other county judges efforts’ to declare a state of disaster following the June 19 storm that swept across four counties in southern Arkansas, leaving upwards of 80,000 Arkansans without power.
“This thing stretched from Ouachita County to Drew County, including Calhoun and Bradley Counties,” Akin explained. “We all received significant damage. Whether it was in the electrical co-op or whether it was in the county itself. We didn’t know exactly how much damage was done for each but we have a crew of about 6-7 men everyday working to get this stuff up—and we have really just kind of scratched the surface.”
Fourth District U.S. Congressman Bruce Westerman is sending a team down to Drew County to observe the damage from the storm today, according to Akin.
Many people in the counties affected need help and the counties also need help with the huge cleanup that is required to recover from the reported winds of 80 plus miles per hour that knocked over trees, snapped utility poles, blew away porches and destroyed some houses. As a result, Akin said he is pushing to get a state declaration of disaster in order to get a federal disaster declaration, which will help even more.
“It is unbelievable how much is out there and there are people that are hurting in our county that need help,” Akin said. “Some of them are elderly and I am trying to get it listed as a federal (disaster). I don’t know that it will go federal. But I think we might can get it as state when they look at the situation that we have been in.”
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