Mississippi delegation requests federal disaster declaration for January storm damage

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The Mississippi congressional delegation sent a letter on Friday to President Donald Trump asking for consideration of Governor Tate Reeve’s request for a major federal disaster declaration.

The declaration would be for severe storms, flooding, straight-line winds, and 17 confirmed tornadoes from January 10-11.

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The request is for Bolivar, Choctaw, Clay, Desoto, Oktibbeha, Panola, Prentiss, Sunflower, Tishomingo, and Washington counties, as well as hazard mitigation assistance statewide.

Some of the damage mentioned in the letter included:

  • 38,297 power outages
  • 514 lost or damaged homes
  • 59 affected businesses
  • 112 destroyed or damaged roads
  • 2 damaged bridges
  • 1 fatality
  • 21 injuries

If the disaster declaration is approved, it would allow additional federal resources to supplement state recovery efforts.

Read the full letter sent to President Trump below:

Dear Mr. President,

In response to severe weather events acrossthe State of Mississippi on January 10 and 11, 2020, we request your full consideration of Governor Tate Reeves’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration under the Stafford Act.

We appreciate the continued efforts of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and anticipate expeditious assistance from the agency in helping state and local officials in Mississippi as they continue their hard work to help these communities recover from damaging storms, straight-line winds, flooding, and 17 confirmed tornadoes.

As Governor Reeves indicated in his request, the Joint Public Assistance damage assessments conducted by the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), FEMA, and other agencies, showed at least 38,297 power outages and 514 lost or damaged homes. In addition, 59 businesses, 27 farms, 112 roads, two bridges, seven non-profit utilities, and other public property were reported as damaged throughout the area. Sadly, one fatality and 21 injuries were reported as a result of these events.

On January 11, 2020, former Governor Phil Bryant declared a State of Emergency in Mississippi to aid in the rebuilding. However, the existing resources from the state government, local governments, and volunteer organizations are inadequate to address all the damage caused and enable a full recovery. All 10 counties included in the request, as well as the State of Mississippi, have met the per capita indicator threshold, and significant federal assistance and cooperation are required. This is especially true given the record number of tornadoes confirmed in Mississippi in 2019.

We are determined to help Mississippi recover by supporting local communities, the State of Mississippi, and federal agencies as we continue our work to rebuild and renew areas affected by these destructive weather events. We support Governor Reeves’ request for a Major Disaster Declaration. 

Thank you for your consideration of this request.  Please do not hesitate to contact us should you need further assistance in this effort.

Sincerely,

Roger F. Wicker, United States Senator

Cindy Hyde-Smith, United States Senator

Bennie G. Thompson, Member of Congress

Steven Palazzo, Member of Congress

Trent Kelly, Member of Congress

 Michael Guest, Member of Congress

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