LITTLE ROCK, AR - Federal Emergency Management Administration crews are on the ground in Arkansas, ready to survey damage from the winter storm.
More than a week after the storm hit, City of Little Rock crews are still cleaning and clearing tree limbs, a potentially historic undertaking for the city in terms of cost. Matt Burks, with the Emergency Management Division of Little Rock, estimates says the cost of the cleanup to city right now to be more than $3 million.
“Maybe not quite as large as the 2000 storm, but right now the debris levels are looking like they’re very comparable to that,” said Burks.
Representatives from FEMA made it into the state Thursday afternoon. On Friday, they will tour the areas hardest hit by the storm.
“Disasters are getting harder and harder to get (declared) these days. When you compare this to Hurricane Sandy, it’s pretty small,” said Burks.
But David Maxwell, with the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, says the costs associated with this storm are likely expensive enough for federal aid to pay for things like overtime for road crews and repairing damage to the utilities of electric cooperatives.
“The assistance is something that enables us to serve our citizens and cleanup the mess in a timely manner. If it wasn’t for that assistance, the time would probably take a little longer,” said Maxwell.
ADEM says this storm is actually not one of their most expensive winter storms. The ice storm of 2000 caused more than $200 million worth of damage. Early estimates of this storm are closer to $40 million in damage.
Individuals are not eligible for federal money, only cities and counties can get that money to help with the clean-up. If your property was damaged in the storm, you are asked to contact your insurance company.