SuperTalk Mississippi

Federal Disaster Declaration for Mississippi Following December Tornadoes

COLUMBIA, Miss.–Tornadoes left five people dead and several communities a mess in December. But, late Wednesday afternoon the White House announced federal help is on the way. As requested by Mississippi’s Congressional delegation and Gov. Bryant, the president signed a federal disaster declaration.

What That Means:

“Federal funding is available to state, tribal, and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the severe storms and tornadoes in Marion County,” said a statement from the White House.

In Marion County, 82 homes and 43 businesses were heavily damaged or destroyed. In Jones County, eight homes and one business were heavily damaged or destroyed.

“This assistance will help rebuild the community following these tragic tornadoes,” said Bryant. “We mourn the five lives lost during the Christmas holidays, and I am hopeful the federal government will quickly approve the additional aid I requested.”

Through the Public Assistance declaration, state and local governments and certain non-profit groups in Marion County are eligible for certain types of aid. Disaster costs incurred since Dec. 23 could be reimbursed by FEMA through its 75 percent cost-sharing program.

The Public Assistance aid available may assist with things like repairing public roads and bridges, rebuilding public buildings like the National Guard Armory, and removing debris from public properties and rights of way, emergency work and actions to prevent threats to life and property.

The Hazard Mitigation Program, also approved through FEMA, provides assistance for actions that reduce the risk to life and property from natural hazards.

Governor Bryant’s request for Individual Assistance for Jones and Marion counties is still under review by FEMA. Individual Assistance is aid that helps individuals and families recover.

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