Beebe declares 15 counties disaster areas


LITTLE ROCK — Gov. Mike Beebe declared 15 counties disaster areas Thursday in the wake of damaging storms.

Tornadoes and severe storms struck many areas of the state Wednesday afternoon and evening.

Beebe also released $10,000 from the Governor’s Disaster Fund to help cover the immediate response cost from the storms.

The disaster declaration covers Cleburne, Conway, Garland, Hot Spring, Independence, Izard, Lincoln, Montgomery, Polk, Sharp, Stone, Union, Van Buren, White, and Yell counties.

The declaration makes it easier for local governments to coordinate with the state Department of Emergency Management and other state agencies during response and repair efforts. Local governments will be able to better utilize Arkansas Department of Correction work crews to assist with debris removal, the governor’s office said.

Damage assessments continue, and additional counties may be added to this declaration, the office said.