- Associated Press - Friday, May 26, 2017

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared 23 Arkansas counties disaster areas after recent flooding.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson says in a news release Friday he was informed of the designation from Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. Counties designated as disasters include Faulkner, Lonoke and Randolph.

Perdue visited the state in early May and said in his letter to the governor that there were sufficient production losses in those counties to warrant a designation.

Another 23 counties were designated contiguous disaster areas.

Farmers in eligible counties will have eight months to apply for emergency loans from the USDA’s Farm Service Agency.

FEMA is still assessing damage caused by flooding and severe storms in the northwestern part of the state in April to see if a presidential disaster declaration can be made.

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