Jackson, MS -- Federal disaster funds have been made available for Holmes and Sharkey counties today to help local governments rebuild public property damaged by the recent severe storms, tornadoes and flooding in Mississippi.
The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Director Joe M. Allbaugh announced the assistance was approved following a review of damage data gathered by federal, state and local disaster recovery officials.
"Ensuring that vital community services are restored as quickly as possible is part of our continuing commitment to help Mississippi achieve a full and lasting recovery," Allbaugh said.
Affected local governments in Holmes and Sharkey counties are eligible to apply for federal funds to pay 75 percent of the approved cost for debris removal, emergency services related to the disaster, and repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, buildings and utilities.
The addition of the two counties brings the total number of counties eligible for state and federal assistance for public facilities to 16. The counties now eligible for public assistance are: Benton, Bolivar, Coahoma, Holmes, Humphreys, Leake, Marshall, Panola, Prentiss, Quitman, Sharkey, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tippah, Tunica and Washington.
The funds were authorized under the major disaster declaration issued by President Bush on December 7, and made available through FEMA's public assistance program for state and local governments.
Procedures for requesting the assistance will be explained to the added counties by the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.