Federal aid approved for Faulkner County

FEMA search and rescue team deployed to Faulkner county
Workers flip a fallen wall as they search through homes destroyed by a tornado, Monday, April 28, 2014, in Vilonia, Ark. Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe has asked for a Major Disaster Declaration for Faulkner County, which was hit hardest by a deadly tornado that rolled through the state.

LITTLE ROCK (AP) — President Barack Obama has approved a major disaster declaration for an Arkansas county hit hardest by a tornado that killed 15 people.

Gov. Mike Beebe and the state’s congressional delegation announced Tuesday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency designated Faulkner County a major disaster area. Beebe had requested the federal aid on Monday, and the delegation earlier Tuesday asked the White House and FEMA to quickly approve the help.

With the designation, Arkansans will be eligible to apply for individual assistance to cover the costs of temporary housing, home repairs, disaster unemployment assistance, Small Business Administration low interest loans, medical expenses and other needs. Faulkner County will also be eligible to apply for public assistance for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities.