FEMA, state opens disaster recovery center in Wynne

FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell speaks during a press briefing with Mayor Frank Scott Jr. (right) and Attorney General Tim Griffin (left) behind the Colony West Shopping Center on Sunday, April 2, 2023 in Little Rock. See more photos at arkansasonline.com/43tornados/.(Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Staci Vandagriff)
FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell speaks during a press briefing with Mayor Frank Scott Jr. (right) and Attorney General Tim Griffin (left) behind the Colony West Shopping Center on Sunday, April 2, 2023 in Little Rock. See more photos at arkansasonline.com/43tornados/.(Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Staci Vandagriff)

A disaster recovery center in Wynne, the county seat and largest city in Cross County, will open Wednesday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said.

The temporary center will operate in a part of Ridgeview Church, 999 U.S. 64 East, in Wynne, from 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Monday-Saturday, and 1 p.m.-7 p.m. Sundays.

Residents affected by the March 31 tornado, which killed four people in Cross County, may visit the disaster recovery center without an appointment.

Staff from FEMA, Small Business Administration, and state and local agencies will be available for people who need to download documents for disaster recovery applications, apply for assistance, learn the status of their FEMA application, understand any letters from FEMA, find housing and rental assistance information, get referrals to agencies that may offer other assistance, and learn about loan programs available from the Small Business Administration.

People affected by the tornadoes can make applications for assistance online at www.disasterassistance.gov or by calling (800) 621-3362. The toll-free telephone lines operate from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. central time, seven days a week. The latest information is available at fema.gov/disaster/4698, the FEMA Region 6 Twitter account at twitter.com/FEMARegion6 or on Facebook at facebook.com/FEMARegion6/.

On March 31, severe weather hit part of Arkansas. A tornado developed and rapidly intensified across portions of west Little Rock, then moved northeast across Little Rock, North Little Rock, Sherwood and Jacksonville before dissipating south of Cabot. The tornado produced 165 mph winds — an EF3 rating — and remained on the ground for nearly 32 miles, according to the National Weather Service. There was one fatality associated with that tornado, the weather service said.

A second supercell developed, moving east, the agency said. That storm caused "utter devastation across the city of Wynne ... The tornado was rated an EF3 and led to 4 fatalities as it moved through the city," according to the weather service.

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