TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) — Mississippi’s congressional delegation says those affected by Monday’s tornado should be eligible for federal assistance. Today, senators and congressmen toured hard hit areas in Tupelo and Lee County, WCBI’s
The congressional delegation drove through parts of Tupelo devastated by Monday’s EF-3 tornado. Everyone in the group said they knew, from television news reports the situation was bad, but seeing it firsthand was tough to comprehend.
The congressional delegation was made up of U S Senators Roger Wicker and Thad Cochran, along with U S Congressmen Alan Nunnelee and Greg Harper.
Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton was with the group and during a stop at North Gloster and Green Streets, the mayor summarized the damage.
“You can see the utter devastation, and destruction,” said Shelton.
This fact finding trip was a chance for the elected representatives to see for themselves what the twister left behind.
MS Dist. 1 Rep. Allan Nunnelee said, “This is devastating to my hometown and cleanup is going to take a long time.”
An expedited federal disaster declaration from President Obama would help speed things up, by allowing federal money and other resources to help in the cleanup and recovery. The entire delegation says the area should qualify.
Senator Thad Cochran said, “We’re here to be sure that that assistance is getting where it needs to be and we will do everything we can to provide additional appropriations if that seems necessary along the road to recovery.”
Senator Roger Wicker added, “We’re going to make sure that Mississippi gets every benefit we’re entitled to and we’re going to take what we see back to FEMA and MEMA officials in Washington.”
That assurance is welcomed from businessmen such as Jay Enis, whose car dealership and car wash were obliterated.
“It would be huge, anything we can get will help,” said Enis. “We are going to have to rebuild everything we have, so anything type of assistance we can get is going to be crucial.”
That auto dealership lost all 60 vehicles on the lot, several are behind me. Within an hour or so after the tornado hit, MEMA representatives were in this area, surveying the damage.
Also, officials with TVA say Monday’s storm, which produced 12 tornadoes in the state caused the largest loss of power throughout Mississippi in TVA’s history.