Jackson, MS -- A total of $25,592,195 in federal/state disaster aid has been approved for residents of 31 central and southwestern Mississippi counties who sustained damages during the April 6th through 25th, 2003, severe storms, tornadoes and flooding. President Bush declared the counties disaster areas on April 24, at the request of Gov. Ronnie Musgrove.
As of today, 9,813 Mississippians have applied for the various forms of federal/state disaster assistance.
The 31 counties in which residents are eligible for disaster aid are: Amite, Attala, Claiborne, Clarke, Copiah, Franklin, Hinds, Holmes, Issaquena, Jasper, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Kemper, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Leake, Lincoln, Madison, Marion, Neshoba, Newton, Pearl River, Pike, Rankin, Scott, Simpson, Smith, Walthall, Warren, Wayne and Yazoo.
Anyone who suffered storm, tornado or flood damage April 6th through 25th should call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) to apply for assistance. The speech or hearing impaired should call TTY 1-800-462-7585.
The following is a breakdown, to date, of the federal/state disaster aid approved for Mississippians:
- Individual & Households Program (IHP) - - Federal Share: $10,556,979
- Individual & Households Program (IHP) - - State Share $ 1,804,553
- U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loans $ 7,881,300
Leon Shaifer, the state coordinating officer in charge of long-term recovery, reminds Mississippians, "The deadline to register for disaster aid is now less than two weeks away - June 23rd - so anyone who sustained damage during the April 6th through 25th severe storms should apply for assistance as soon as possible. All it takes is one free phone call to FEMA's application number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362)."
Individuals, families and business owners who reside in the designated counties and who sustained disaster losses during the declared severe weather period are eligible for a wide range of disaster assistance programs.
Carlos Mitchell, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) official in charge of the recovery effort, added, "Although the deadline to apply for disaster assistance is June 23rd, this does not mean we will stop processing applications at that time. If an individual has applied for assistance before the June 23rd deadline, we will continue to process their application. But remember, you must apply by June 23rd."
The Public Assistance Program - the program that deals with public infrastructure disaster assistance - has made $5,349,363 eligible to 13 Mississippi counties to reimburse the costs of debris removal, repair of roads, bridges, public buildings and utilities, and to help with overtime paid to police officers, firefighters and other emergency personnel. FEMA provides 75 percent funding for such projects, while the state and local applicants pay the remaining 25 percent.
The 13 Mississippi counties declared eligible for the Public Assistance Program are: Clarke, Hinds, Kemper, Lauderdale, Leake, Lincoln, Madison, Neshoba, Newton, Rankin, Scott, Warren and Yazoo.