Beebe Declares Statewide Disaster Area (UPDATED)

by Talk Business & Politics staff ( 3 views 

Gov. Mike Beebe (D) has declared a statewide disaster in the wake of Tuesday’s winter storm.

The declaration helps the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management work as efficiently as possible with other state agencies when providing assistance, according to Beebe’s office.

Arkansas was hit by a powerful winter storm that blanketed major parts of the state in ice and snow. Strong winds also caused damage to property and power lines across the state.

The storms have also caused Beebe to cancel or limit the opening of state government offices.

Beebe has asked that only “essential” state personnel report to work on Wednesday and Thursday.

“With re-frozen roads expected to further deteriorate driving conditions Thursday morning, Governor Mike Beebe has again ordered only essential personnel to report to work at State offices in the Little Rock Metropolitan Area on Thursday. Agency directors and supervisors will decide who those people are and when they will arrive at work,” his office reported.

UPDATE: Beebe issued an inclement weather policy for state employees for Friday.

“While state offices in the Little Rock Metropolitan Area will reopen on Friday, Governor Mike Beebe will put the Inclement Weather Policy into effect to allow state employees an extra two hours to navigate potentially icy roads.  Essential personnel should report at their regular times when requested. As always with the Inclement Weather Policy, agency directors are authorized to allow extra time for employees who must traverse especially treacherous conditions,” Beebe’s office said in a Thursday afternoon press release.