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Gov. Sanders uses state-of-emergency to make disaster funding available amid winter storms

Governor Sanders declared a state of emergency after signing an executive order allocating more than $200,000 in disaster funds.

ARKANSAS, USA — This latest bout of winter weather has caused car crashes and the closure of schools and businesses. It's also led to a state of emergency in Arkansas and a slew of resources in place to help the state.

"I hope this misses us, I hope this is all we're going to get," said Crawford County Director of Emergency Management Veronica Robins.

Since Monday, Crawford County has had several crashes and crews have been working to clear the roads.

"They're trying to keep up with the slick roads," Robins said. "Trying to make sure they're clear for everybody."

Benton County's Director of Communications says the county is also working on clearing its roads. "Salting and plowing where they can, trying to clear the roads."

As the sleet and ice continue to fall, the state is providing resources intended to help.

"If anyone needs any assistance, we can try to get those resources to them," said Arkansas Division of Emergency Management Public Information Officer LaTresha Woodruff

Counties could request additional salt mix, warming stations, and materials for cleanup after the storm. The counties would request the resources through the Arkansas Division of Emergency Management's (ADEM) Emergency Operations Center, which was activated Tuesday.

"Just know ADEM is here, we are watching out for you."

Governor Sanders says the state of emergency is more long-term, it will last for the next 30 days. The proclamation makes it easier for any county with damage to request funds. However, the county has to make a disaster declaration first.

"It would actually be declared by your county judge and approved by the governor," Robins said. She believes the request must be made within 5 days of the state of emergency. 

Counties can also get some help through an executive order the governor signed Monday night. It set aside $250,000 to "alleviate hardship and suffering" due to the winter storm. That money will be given out by the ADEM. 

However, for now, counties are just focused on the day ahead.

"Every day we just sit and wait to see if it's going to happen," said Robins

"This is just sort of a continuous process at the moment," Kwok said.

As of now, Benton and Crawford Counties tell 5NEWS they don't have any major problems that they are aware of and don't plan on declaring a disaster declaration right now.

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