LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas’ congressional delegation on Thursday urged U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to support Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s request for a disaster declaration for 12 northeastern Arkansas counties affected by recent flooding.


Hutchinson told Vilsack in a letter dated Sept. 16 he was seeking a federal disaster declaration for Carroll, Clay, Craighead, Independence, Jackson, Lawrence, Lincoln, Madison, Prairie, Randolph, White and Woodruff counties.


The governor said in the letter that over a four-week period, northeastern Arkansas received 8 to 12 inches of rainfall, resulting in flooding that caused an estimated $45.6 million to $50 million worth of damages to crops.


On Thursday, Republican Sens. John Boozman and Tom Cotton and Reps. Bruce Westerman, R-Hot Springs, Steve Womack, R-Rogers, Rick Crawford, R-Jonesboro, and French Hill, R-Little Rock, sent a letter to Vilsack in support of the governor’s request.


“Agriculture is Arkansas’ largest industry, and this disaster, in combination with low commodity prices, is a significant hardship for many producers in Arkansas,” the delegation said in the letter.