President approves disaster declaration for eight Mississippi counties

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Federal Emergency Management Agency announced that federal disaster assistance has been made available to Mississippi to assist recovery efforts in areas affected by severe storms and flooding in April.

President Donald Trump declared Thursday that a major disaster exists in Mississippi as well as Kansas and South Dakota. All three disasters are related to severe weather. The announcement comes on top of disaster declarations already approved for flooding that has left 500,000 acres underwater in the Delta.

In Mississippi, Thursday’s declaration is being directed toward Clarke, Clay, Itawamba, Kemper, Monroe, Oktibbeha, Warren and Yazoo counties. Federal funding is also available for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

Federal funding is available on a cost-sharing basis to the state, with the federal government covering 75% of the cost, FEMA said in a news release.  The aid is available to state, tribal, eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations for emergency work. At this time the major disaster declaration does not designate funding for FEMA’s Individual and Household Assistance Program.

The work covered by the declaration includes:

• Debris removal and emergency protective measures taken to save lives and protect property and public health.

• Repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, bridges, utilities, buildings, schools, recreational areas, and similar publicly owned property, as well as certain private non-profit organizations engaged in community service activities.

• Hazard mitigation projects undertaken by state and local governments to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural or technological disasters.

Jose M. Girot has been named as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in Mississippi. Girot said additional designations may be made at a later date if warranted by the results of further damage assessments.