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STORY


Relief •


dolph, Clay, Lawrence, White and Prairie. Te disaster may have knocked down local residents, but they didn’t stay down for long. Teir strength and resilience has propped them back up and moved them toward recovery. Randolph County Judge David Jansen said it was remark- able to see residents of his county, Arkansas and nearby states step in to help without missing a beat. “When you get in a situation like this, folks pull together and that’s what keeps you going,” he said. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson toured flooded areas in


C


Northeast Arkansas twice, the second time accompanied by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and members of the Arkansas Congressional delegation. Te severity of the damage led the governor to issue di-


saster declarations for a total of 36 counties and two cit- ies. Tese included Baxter, Benton, Boone, Carroll, Clay, Cleburne, Conway, Craighead, Cross, Drew, Faulkner, Fulton, Greene, Independence, Izard, Jackson, Lawrence, Madison, Marion, Mississippi, Monroe, Montgomery, Newton, Ouachita, Perry, Prairie, Pulaski, Randolph, Sa- line, Searcy, Sharp, Stone, Washington, White, Woodruff and Yell counties. Te cities were Little Rock and North Little Rock. Hutchinson dispatched more than 120 Arkansas Army


38


Recovery •


Story by Holland Doran AAC Communications Coordinator


ounties in Arkansas took a major hit in May as more than eight inches of rain caused rivers to rise, flooding cities, homes and businesses. Among the hardest-hit counties were Ran-


Resilience Arkansas counties devastated by flooding look to rebuild.


and Air National Guardsman and 25 guard vehicles to aid with high water rescue and transport missions. Tey worked alongside the Arkansas State Police, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, and the Arkansas Department of Emer- gency Management (ADEM), making more than 50 water rescues in Randolph County alone. Beside them stood countless numbers of local law enforce- ment officials, organizations, businesses and volunteers, all ready to help those in need. Judge Jansen said he saw hundreds of people, such as the Randolph County Ministerial Alliance, the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army, volunteer their time at shel- ters, feeding families and emergency workers. “We train for events like this, and I saw how everybody just put the puzzle together to make sure there was no loss of life,” he said. “Tat was our No. 1 goal, and we achieved that because our state and local agencies worked hand and hand.” In his May 12, 2017, radio address, the governor recalled the words of ADEM’s Deputy Public Information Officer Melody Daniel: “Arkansas as a state is resilient to disasters.” Randolph County Clerk Debbie Wise, who is vice-pres- ident of the Association of Arkansas Counties board of di- rectors, echoed that sentiment. “Arkansans help each other … that’s just what they do,” she said. Tat’s exactly what Lawrence County Judge John Tomi-


son said he witnessed — residents of Lawrence County and of neighboring counties quickly jumping in to aid those in need of food, shelter and transportation. “I am proud and humbled … it takes my breath away,” he said. “I’m not surprised by our citizens, I’m just in awe of


COUNTY LINES, SPRING 2017


COVER


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