Sebastian County Could Get Assistance After Storm Damage

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Last week's winter storms brought tree limbs and other debris down, causing damage to local properties that owners are still cleaning up almost a week later.

However, help may be on the way from the federal government for debris clean-up in Sebastian County.

Bill Cropp is one of many in Sebastian County who have had tree limbs crash down on his property.

“I would like to see a pickup system for the larger limbs,” he said. “It`s still pretty bad, so we could use some help.”

County officials met Tuesday (Dec. 10) to see what needs to be done.

"It's estimated to be at least $500,000 worth of damage,” said Sebastian County Judge David Hudson. “That will qualify Sebastian County for the federal assistance threshold.”

With the possibility of federal emergency officials coming to assess damage, many like Cropp are wondering what to do with the big piles of debris in their yards.

“Right now, I would advise those that have the opportunity to start working to clean up debris to take it to their curbside,” said Hudson.

People like Sherill Stringer have had icy limbs fall on her property as well.

“Most of us don`t have chainsaws or clippers,” she said.

She said she is wondering what to do next after hauling debris to her curb.

“We would have burn sites to take care of the debris which would have to be permitted,” said Hudson.

County officials said reimbursement by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) could be extensive and help replace a large percentage of the county’s money that is being used for cleanup.

Officials also said once their plan is finalized, a preliminary damage assessment will take place, and then federal authorities will likely come in and assess damage costs.

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