Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed an executive order Friday declaring that the portion of Ashley County affected by the Jan. 2 tornado was officially a disaster area.
Five other counties — Arkansas, Clay, Garland, Lincoln and Phillips counties — were included in the declaration.
With the issuance of a disaster declaration, the governor authorized that up to $1,189,600 in funds from the Governor’s Response and Recovery Fund (GRRF) could be used in the Individual Assistance Program “to provide supplemental disaster relief” in Ashley, Arkansas, Garland, Lincoln and Phillips counties.
The declaration also authorized money from the GRRF for the Public Assistance Program in Clay County.
The area in Ashley County that was most affected by the storm was Montrose, where an EF2 tornado damaged 28 homes, destroying four and severely damaging 16 others.
It also caused significant infrastructure damage, breaking power poles and downing trees.
In some cases, the trees didn’t just damage structures as they fell from the top, but also from the bottom when roots pulling upward as trees fell damaged pipes and other buried service structures.
The storm, which had top winds of 120 miles per hour, traveled 40.3 miles in 49 minutes.
It reached top intensity just as it approached Montrose.
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