WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a $1,054,112 National Emergency Grant to assist Arkansas with cleanup and recovery efforts after the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that struck the state May 30 to June 3.
"The destruction caused by this severe storm affected communities across Arkansas," said Eric Seleznow, acting assistant secretary of labor for employment and training. "There is a great deal of recovery work to be done, and the Labor Department is committed to helping Arkansans rebuild their communities."
The grant was awarded to the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services to restore public lands and infrastructure by providing temporary work to those in need of employment. The funds will be used to assist with cleanup, demolition, repair, renovation and reconstruction of destroyed public facilities and lands in affected communities as well as humanitarian assistance. Of the $1,054,112 approved today, $351,371 will be released initially. Additional funding, up to the approved amount, will be made available to the state as it demonstrates a continued need for assistance.
On June 25, the Federal Emergency Management Agency declared 11 counties eligible for FEMA's public assistance program. The state plans to target Cleburne, Independence, Polk, Scott, Searcy, Stone, Van Buren and Woodruff for assistance under this grant. Additional counties may be included at a later date if further evaluation warrants their inclusion. More information on designated disaster areas in Arkansas is available from FEMA at http://www.fema.gov/disaster/4124/designated-areas.
National Emergency Grants are part of the secretary of labor's discretionary fund and are awarded based on a state's ability to meet specific guidelines. For more information, visit http://www.doleta.gov/NEG/.