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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce


Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $2.5 Million to Support Disaster Resiliency in Arkansas

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today announced three U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) grants totaling $2.5 million to the City of Springdale, the Southeast Arkansas Economic Development District, and the White River Planning and Development District, Inc., in Arkansas to support projects that will bolster resiliency in an area that is vulnerable to flooding and storms. According to the grantees, much of the state has experienced severe flooding, which has had a negative effect on business and the economy across the state.

“The Obama Administration is committed to preparing communities for natural disasters by providing the information, products, and services they need to mitigate potential economic impact,” said Secretary Pritzker. “The EDA grants announced today will provide vital support to ensure these communities are ready for future storm events and able to recover more quickly.”

The EDA investments announced today include:

  • $1 million to the City of Springdale, Arkansas to widen drainage channels along roads that serve major employers and the most direct emergency response route for the area. EDA’s investment will help not only mitigate current flooding issues, but it will also allow for continued traffic flow, emergency response, and area access during significant storm events.
  • $1 million to the White River Planning and Development District, Inc., (WRPDD) in Batesville, Arkansas to create an economic resource center. EDA’s investment will help fund the construction of the building with office and training space, which will be built out of the floodplain to prevent future flooding and enable WRPDD to operate at full capacity. According to the grantee, the center will serve as the nexus for economic activity, mitigation and resiliency planning, and community development for the ten counties it serves, which should improve the capacity of the region to recover from disasters more quickly in the future.
  • $500,000 to the Southeast Arkansas Economic Development District in Pine Bluff, Arkansas to upgrade and rehabilitate railway infrastructure in Southeast Arkansas. According to the grantee, Chicot County has historically been prone to flooding during excessive rainfall, and EDA’s investment will help to reduce the negative economic impact for the Chicot County area in the event of another natural disaster.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The Economic Development Administration marks 50 years of public service, leading the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.