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North MS flooding event doesn’t meet threshold for federal assistance

Image courtesy of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency

The recent flooding event in North Mississippi has failed to reach the needed threshold to qualify for federal assistance. 

According to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, following on-the-ground assessments of impacted areas, state and local officials have concluded the damage to homes did not meet the FEMA parameters to request federal assistance. A significant number of homes must be classified as “major” or “destroyed,” but a majority of damaged homes were classified as “affected” or had “minor” damage according to FEMA parameters.

While there was widespread flooding in North Mississippi from June 8-11, no homes were considered “destroyed” during the event and less than 20 homes had “major damage.”

MEMA Executive Director Steven McCraney detailed that there is a from of assistance available through a program enacted by the Mississippi Legislature. 

“Residents will not be alone in this recovery process. While the state may not be eligible to receive federal individual assistance, we are working with counties to provide other financial avenues. Through the Disaster Trust Fund, counties can apply for funding in our Disaster Assistance Repair Program (DARP). The state can provide funding, up to $250,000 for building materials only. With the help of nonprofits and our volunteer community, these counties can recover. Within the last four years, DARP and our volunteer community restored 850 homes in 22 counties when federal financial assistance wasn’t available,” McCraney said. 

Counties must form a Long Term Recovery Committee (LRTC) and identify a 501c3 to receive state funds. Money can be made available to those residents that have significant damage to their homes, determined by case managers on the LTRC. This assistance is to restore essential living spaces.

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