Gov. Mike Beebe (D) has sent a letter to President Obama requesting a major disaster declaration for seven Arkansas counties affected by the Christmas winter storm that brought ice and heavy snow into Arkansas.

The counties include Garland, Grant, Hot Spring, Lonoke, Perry, Pulaski and Saline Counties.

The seven counties sustained an estimated $9 million in storm damage, with three-quarters of that total coming from debris-removal costs.

Assessment teams from the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management and the Federal Emergency Management Agency have spent the past few weeks touring damaged areas.

Federal aid resulting from the declaration would help state and local agencies recover their costs from the storm response, Beebe's office said. This Arkansas storm did not meet the eligibility criteria to obtain assistance for individual victims.

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