AR Briefly

Sanders adds $1 million in state money for June 25 disaster relief

By: - November 20, 2023 2:56 pm
A rainbow arcs over storm damage along Shackleford Road as employees of Summit Energy worked to turn off damaged gas lines. A tornado plowed through west Little Rock Friday, March 31, 2023, damaging hundreds of homes and businesses. (John Sykes/Arkansas Advocate)

A rainbow appears over a swath of storm damage on March 31, 2023. (John Sykes/Arkansas Advocate)

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders has authorized $1 million in state funds to provide additional disaster relief in Arkansas, Faulkner, Lonoke, Mississippi, Poinsett, Pope and Pulaski counties stemming from instances of severe weather on June 25.

Sanders announced the availability of the money in a Nov. 17 amendment to her earlier disaster declaration. The funds come from the Governor’s Response and Recovery Fund under the Individual Assistance Program, according to a press release from her office.

The director of the Arkansas Division of Emergency Management will use the money at his discretion to defray program and administrative costs.

The announcement comes as Arkansans affected by the storms and straight-line winds in June could begin applying for disaster assistance through the Arkansas Individual Assistance program.

Arkansans whose primary residence was destroyed or made uninhabitable can apply for assistance from Nov. 20 to Dec. 1. Assistance may include home repairs, cleaning, household debris removal and personal property repair. Businesses, second homes, vacation homes, vehicles, sheds and outbuildings are not eligible for the state program.

Affected residents can apply by calling 2-1-1 or 866-489-6983, texting their ZIP code to 898-211 or visiting

The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced Tuesday that the president had approved Sanders’ request for a Major Disaster Declaration in response to the June 25 storms. Sanders requested the declaration on Aug. 23.

The federal government approved Public Assistance for Arkansas, Faulkner, Lonoke and Poinsett counties, and made funds available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide, according to a press release from the governor’s office.

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Sonny Albarado
Sonny Albarado

In his 50-year career, Sonny Albarado has been an investigations editor, a business editor, a city editor, an environmental reporter and a government reporter at newspapers in Arkansas, Tennessee and Louisiana. He retired from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in 2020 after serving as projects editor for 12 ½ years and returned to professional journalism in 2022 to lead the Arkansas Advocate. He is a former national president of the Society of Professional Journalists and a current member of the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.