WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a $1,520,243 National Emergency Grant to assist with cleanup and recovery efforts following the severe winter storm that battered Arkansas on Dec. 5 - 6, 2013. This grant will provide aid to affected communities in North Central, Northwest and Western Arkansas.
"Severe winter storms have inflicted significant damage across Arkansas," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. "Today's federal grant will assist with the important work ahead to help those communities recover from the widespread damage caused by these violent storms."
Of the funding amount announced today, $506,748 will be released initially. Additional funding, up to the amount approved, will be made available as the state demonstrates a continued need for assistance. The funds, awarded to the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, will be used to create temporary jobs to facilitate the recovery efforts.
On Jan. 6, the Federal Emergency Management Agency declared the following counties in Arkansas as eligible for FEMA's Public Assistance Program: Crawford, Franklin, Fulton, Johnson, Logan, Madison, Marion, Newton, Polk, Scott, Searcy, Sebastian, Sharp, and Van Buren. The state intends to target the following counties for assistance under this NEG: Crawford, Franklin, Logan, Madison, Marion, Newton, Polk, Scott, Searcy, Sebastian, Sharp, and Van Buren. Additional counties may be included under the project at a later date if further evaluation warrants their inclusion. FEMA's website provides more information on the designated disaster areas in Arkansas.
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.