Gov. Hutchinson seeks federal support in ‘flood of historic magnitude’

Governor says 'flood of historic magnitude'

By Steve Brawner
Talk Business & Politics

Gov. Asa Hutchinson is asking federal agencies for direct support and will tour flooded areas with members of the state’s congressional delegation Thursday, he said in a press conference Wednesday (May 29).

Describing the devastation that has already occurred and is yet to come, Hutchinson said, “This is a flood of historic magnitude. It surpasses all Arkansas River flooding in our recorded history.”

Hutchinson said he has signed a second emergency proclamation raising the state’s total contribution to $350,000 at the request of the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM).

On Tuesday, he received a phone call from President Trump, who Hutchinson said offered his full support. Hutchinson said he briefed Trump on the situation. Then on Wednesday, Hutchinson formalized his communication in a letter to Trump asking for direct support from federal agencies. That letter sets the stage for a presidential declaration.

Hutchinson said federal assistance could be provided to individual homes and businesses. Also needed is mitigation assistance. He said the state’s levee system constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is doing well but is not built for the level of flooding the models predict.

“The levee system is strained to the limit, and while it is holding in most areas, there are breeches and overflows that we are watching very carefully,” he said. READ MORE.

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