LOUISVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) — Removing debris from areas hit by the tornado outbreak continues to be priority number one in the recovery process. However, some owners with damaged property are saying they simply can’t get it done without some assistance. Winston County is doing all it can legally to remove debris after April’s destructive tornado. Now the City of Louisville is uniting with other towns to do more for private owners who desperately need help.
Leaders from Winston, Itawamba, Lee and Lowndes Counties are presenting a united front to collectively ask FEMA to allow them to remove debris from private property.
“It’s a real danger to the health and safety of the communities and that’s why we all need the PPDR – the Private Property Debris Removal permission so bad to help our citizens,” says Tupelo Mayor, Jason Shelton.
As it stands, private property owners are solely responsible for clearing debris and moving it to the side of the road for pick up. But some owners have either abandoned their damaged property or simply can’t afford to have the debris removed.
“Well it’s very low and sad because people don’t have the money to actually move some of the heavy stuff that they have on their property. So what we’re looking at is, if we can get this going, it will really help because I have so many people asking me, ‘what can they do’?,” says Gloria Turnipseed, Winston County Supervisor in Distrist 4.
The Stafford Disaster Relief Act allows FEMA to give cities special permission to remove debris from private property. County leaders presented their written requests to MEMA officials after holding the joint conference.
City and County officials hope to have FEMA’s approval to remove private property debris within 60 to 90 days.