There was a sort of town hall meeting in Mayflower on Monday night where tornado victims could meet professionals from several organizations in the area to help with relief and recovery in Mayflower, and in Vilonia, and in the long, wide damage area between the two towns. 

There have been rumors that zoning ordinances in Mayflower are going to prevent a number of people from rebuilding. Mayflower Mayor Randy Holland said that code enforcement and planning personnel will be working with Mayflower’s city council to have an expedited zoning and approval process to help make sure that won't happen he said, and that residents who are rebuilding will have a quick and efficient approval process.

Generally, Holland said, city officials will be asking for some sort of foundation and storm tie-downs for mobile and modular homes, but the overall rule will be that plans for homes built on the "footprint" of what was destroyed will have a short trip through his city hall before approval.

Other important information from Monday’s town hall meeting was:

• For anyone needing legal advice — or anyone wanting to know if they need legal advice — the Faulkner County Bar Association and Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association has attorneys working for free and without any retainer. Their Arkansas Bar Association hotline for assistance is (844) 344-7904, open Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. They can help with landlord-tenant issues, mortgage/foreclosure problems, help with home repair and building contractors, insurance claims (life, property and health), replacement of wills and important documents and general help with other legal issues related to the tornado. 

• The state Contractors Licensing Board will be available to help people tell the difference between scam artists "that might be out there trying to chase storms and take advantage of people in a bad situation."

• The Small Business Administration will be available to help with government disaster assistance loans available at 2% for homeowners and 4% for business loans and help with debris removal and relocation costs and other assistance.

• Metroplan has people working as adjunct staff with Mayflower to help with the administrative procedures of the zoning, building code and city and county application processes.

• The American Red Cross will remain a presence to feed, shelter, supply and generally assist victims and volunteers.

• And FEMA will have people continuing to help people register for government assistance and advise as to how to build safer, more storm-ready homes. To register for FEMA assistance, call (800) 621-3362, which is also the FEMA help-line number for any FEMA question.