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VA law prevents utility shutoffs in extreme circumstances; MI construction industry responds to a high number of worker suicides; 500,000 still without power or water in the Houston area; KY experts: Children, and babies at higher risk for heat illness.

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The House passes the SAVE Act, but fails to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in inherent contempt of Congress, and a proposed federal budget could doom much-needed public services.

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Enticing remote workers to move is a new business strategy in rural America, Eastern Kentucky preservationists want to save the 20th century home of a trailblazing coal miner, and a rule change could help small meat and poultry growers and consumers.

Arkansans continue to clean up after deadly tornadoes

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Thursday, May 30, 2024   

The National Weather Service continues to survey damage across northern Arkansas after tornadoes ripped through the state over the weekend.

Crews have confirmed at least six twisters touched down causing widespread destruction. Schools and businesses remain closed, and thousands of residents are still without electricity as power lines across the state were destroyed.

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed two executive orders, one declaring a state of emergency and a second authorizing paid leave for state employees affected by the storms.

"We are in, still, an assessment phase; we're going to have to continue," Sanders said. "The rebuilding efforts will come-this is not going to be a short process, but a long road ahead. But I can assure you that not only will our city, county, state and federal partners, we will work together. "

Seven people were killed in the tornadoes. The storms hit just a little over a year after five people were killed by tornadoes in 2023.

Families who have lost everything are receiving help from their neighbors as well as local, state and federal agencies. The Arkansas Division of Emergency Management is accepting monetary donations through the Arkansas Disaster Relief Program, and the Texas based nonprofit Texans on Mission is working with partner agencies in Arkansas to help residents pick up the pieces.

John Hall, chief mission officer and director of communications for Texans on Mission, said it is an emotional task.

"The very first thing we typically go in with is that we call box teams," Hall explained. "These are small groups of volunteers who bring in trailers full of empty boxes. They'll drive into these neighborhoods and start handing out these pre-boxes, that people then use to go through the debris and find the heirlooms and find the jewelry."

The organization also provides shower and laundry teams, mass feeding trucks and chain saw teams to clear away downed trees and debris. Crews from the National Weather Service are still checking damage patterns and the number of confirmed tornadoes could increase.


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