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Trump signs disaster declaration for seven counties

Photo by SuperTalk Mississippi News

President Donald Trump has declared Calhoun, Chickasaw, Clay, Grenada, Lowndes, Pontotoc, and Tishomingo counties as federal disaster areas. The declaration is in response to the severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding that impacted Mississippi from February 22 thru February 24, and ended with the rising of the Yazoo Basin backwater flooding on March 29, 2019.   

RELATED: FEMA announces Mississippi counties receiving disaster aid

Those seven counties are eligible for Public Assistance, which are reimbursement grants to local governments and non-profit organizations for things like damage to infrastructure, debris removal, and overtime to responders.

“I commend President Trump, Governor Phil Bryant, and the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency for their quick action to address the impact of the severe weather events our state experienced in February and March,” said U.S. Senator Roger Wicker. “The federal disaster declaration announced today will expedite the deployment of federal resources to Mississippi and aid recovery efforts.”

Wicker recently sent a letter to President Trump in March in support of a disaster declaration in Mississippi. The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, (MEMA) says that individual Assistance grants which provide assistance to individuals and households are still under review.

“I am grateful to President Trump and his administration for its approval of our request,” Gov. Bryant said. “This declaration will help these seven counties in rebuilding their infrastructure that is still significantly damaged”.

MEMA along with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), will continue to complete joint damage assessments on those counties that were affected by the February storm system. Additional designations may occur at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of those assessments.

“We currently have 13 additional counties that we’ve asked FEMA to join us in assessing the damages”, said MEMA Executive Director Greg Michel. “I anticipate more counties being added to this federal disaster declaration” 

Mississippi is also approved statewide for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, which is for measures/actions taken that reduce or eliminate long term risk to people and property from natural hazards.

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