Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders requests major disaster declaration from President Joe Biden after weekend tornado outbreak

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A request has been made to President Joe Biden as Arkansans recover from the May 24 – 26 storms and tornadoes.

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders requested a major disaster declaration from the president on Wednesday afternoon.

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“The sheer magnitude of this event created disastrous amounts of debris, extensive destruction to homes and businesses, and resulted in the death of nine citizens and injuries to countless others,” Sanders wrote in the state’s request.

The letter continued listing storm and flooding reports throughout the state as well as socioeconomic impact.

“Because several of the hardest-hit areas also experienced major damage to infrastructure, industry, trade, and local businesses, as well as agricultural enterprises, it is expected that applications for disaster-related unemployment will be high,” the letter states.

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The letter states that the impact of public assistance will exceed $6.4 million, including the cost of temporary housing for those displaced by damage to their homes or ongoing power outages.

Sanders concludes by stating that without the federal support of a major disaster declaration, it would be difficult for Arkansas to bear the burden of the storm’s impact on its own.

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According to officials, as of Wednesday evening 16 tornadoes have been confirmed for May 24 to 26, with nine tornado-related deaths, the most tornado deaths in the state since 2014. The estimated 1.8-mile width of the tornado in Decatur is a preliminary state record.

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