BENTON COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — FEMA will be in Benton County Monday to start making its assessments. The county is asking for federal aid to help cover the cost of the damages caused by the severe storms and floods on April 28th.
The damage was so severe, Benton County Judge Barry Moehring declared an emergency disaster declaration; allowing the county and affected cities to request state and federal assistance to make needed repairs.
Benton County and local cities estimate there is $5,000,000 worth of damages to its public infrastructure.
During this visit, the Benton County Road Department tells us it will take FEMA crews to check out various distress areas in the county. The focus is to evaluate the damages to its bridges and major roads.
Benton County Road Department, Administrator of Public Services, Jay Frasier says there’s a lot of work to be done to get those roads back to where they were.
“We’re seeing a lot of shoulder damage a lot of surface area removed… a few of our asphalts roads, for a lack of a better term bubbling up on the asphalt where water got under the road and it popped it. So we’ve had to go middle that out and relay asphalt,” said Frasier.
During the severe weather event, dozens of roads were closed and crews worked to make them safe and passable.
The Benton County Road Department tells us it will take several weeks before the assessment is completed.
Last month’s rounds of severe weather caused quite a bit of damage throughout Benton county. Many residents are still dealing with the aftermath.
Benton County is asking residents who experienced flooding or damages from the storm last month to report it to the county. This information will be used to see if the county meets the criteria to get financial assistance.
The county tells me the best thing for families to do is fix the damages themselves. They should also take pictures, keep records of all repair expenses and report it.
This is only for damages to your home or dwelling that is not insured. This does not include repairs to fences or landscaping.
Benton County Communications Director, Channing Barker says all of the info collected will be submitted to the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management and FEMA. It will also help the county assess the magnitude of the storm.
“Input that data into the form so that we can collect it and present it as a case to the state or to FEMA as a bolstering of our case for why people in Benton county need assistance but right now there are no county funds for individuals,” said Barker.
FEMA also has a write-your-own program for uninsured folks who don’t quite meet the flood risk criteria to get flood insurance. If you experienced damages from recent storms and want to protect your properties from future events this program will connect you to insurance companies to get a standard flood insurance policy.
The county tells us if government assistance becomes available residents will be notified. At the same time, reporting this information does not guarantee compensation.