Arkansas News Bureau

LITTLE ROCK — President Obama last week issued a federal disaster declaration for 13 Arkansas counties, including Logan, affected by a severe winter storm on Dec. 5 and 6.

The declaration also includes Crawford, Franklin, Johnson, Madison, Marion, Newton, Polk, Scott, Searcy, Sebastian, Sharp and Van Buren counties.

The declaration makes federal funding available to state and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the storm.

Federal funding also is available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide, according to a White House news release.

Beebe last month requested a federal disaster declaration for 15 counties. Independence and Montgomery counties were included in his request but were not included in last Monday’s declaration.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is continuing to conduct damage surveys in other areas, and additional counties may be designated for assistance after the assessments are fully completed, the White House said last week.

Following that requeset, Booneville Street Department superintendent Donnie Hardin said debris that has been collected by city workers is being "piled up" awaiting the White House’s decision.

Hardin said officials are keeping track of activity related to the storm to determine if it qualifies for funding.

Beebe had previously declared 22 counties state disaster areas and Logan County Judge Gus Young issued a disaster declaration for the county on Dec. 9. At that time Young said he did turn in a preliminary estimate on damage in the county. It was $80,000 in tree removal and $500,000 in damage to utility poles.