JACKSON, MISS- Gov. Phil Bryant has requested President Obama issue a major disaster declaration for severe weather and flooding that first struck March 9.
The state is still trying to recover from what has been called the worst flooding since Hurricane Katrina.
Based on the suggestions from MEMA and FEMA, Gov. Bryant has asked the declaration cover Bolivar, Coahoma and Washington counties.
More counties could be added.
“This March flooding event has been historic throughout the state, and most people will need federal assistance to help them rebuild and recover,” Gov. Bryant said. “These first three counties I’ve requested were among the hardest hit, and much of the water has receded. I am prepared to request other counties as the joint MEMA and FEMA damage assessment teams are able to access flooded areas.”
More than 1,000 homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed by these storms and flooding.
Mississippi’s delegation in D.C. are also voicing their support for the declaration.
A letter of support for Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant’s request for federal assistance was signed by U.S. Senators Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker, and U.S. Representatives Bennie G. Thompson, Gregg Harper, Steven Palazzo, and Trent Kelly.
Dear President Obama:
In the wake of devastating weather events across the Southeastern United States during the period of March 9-14, 2016, we request your full consideration of Governor Phil Bryant’s request for a federal disaster declaration for Bolivar, Coahoma, and Washington counties in Mississippi as well as hazard mitigation statewide.
We appreciate the efforts of FEMA to deploy rapidly to Mississippi to assist state and local officials in estimating the severity of flooding across our state. Citizens have lost loved ones, homes, and their livelihoods. Much of this destruction has occurred in parts of our state that have been particularly affected by our nation’s current economic situation. Many of these counties also have poverty levels that are more than double the national average.
We know from our ongoing recovery in Mississippi from the effects of recent hurricanes, tornadoes, and flooding that significant resources and cooperation are necessary to recover fully from natural disasters as quickly as possible. We stand ready to face this new challenge by supporting the local communities, the state, and federal agencies as we work together to rebuild and renew areas destroyed by this major weather event.
Thank you for your consideration of this request. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you need further assistance in this effort.