Biden declares disaster in Arkansas following tornadoes

December 24, 2021 GMT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — President Joe Biden has declared a major disaster in Arkansas, making federal relief funding available in five north eastern counties hit by tornadoes that ripped through the Midwest and South this month.

The Friday declaration opens grants for temporary housing, home repairs and other assistance to people affected by the swarm of twisters that left dozens dead across multiple states on Dec. 10 and 11.

The White House said in a statement that federal funding would be available to people in the counties of Craighead, Jackson, Mississippi, Poinsett, and Woodruff, and for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, thanked Biden for the “quick response” in a statement on Twitter Friday morning.

The weekend storms killed about 90 people in five states, including two in Arkansas. The National Weather Service recorded at least 41 tornadoes, with 16 in Tennessee and eight in Kentucky.