BILOXI, Miss. -- One sure sign of recovery from Hurricane Katrina is the return of visitors and locals to the beach to walk, or fish or relax in the sun. With new piers in several communities and a completed eight-mile stretch of boardwalk in Harrison County, the Mississippi Coast is ready to shift into high gear for summer fun.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has played a significant role in several of these beach projects that are now open or nearing completion in time for visitors from near and far as the weather warms:
- Coliseum Pier in Biloxi, now open and paid for with $238,000 from FEMA;
- Garfield Ladner Municipal Pier in Waveland opens in April, thanks to $4 million from FEMA;
- An eight-mile Harrison County boardwalk, constructed with $11 million in FEMA funds.
These and other projects continue to underscore recovery progress and a new paradigm in Mississippi life: a better and stronger Mississippi.
The following is a summary of both FEMA Individual and Public assistance provided in the Mississippi recovery efforts from Aug. 29, 2005 through March 31, 2010:
Assisting Individuals and Families
- FEMA has provided more than $1.3 billion to help families and individuals meet some of their basic needs following Katrina. More than 44,000 families received temporary housing assistance.
- As of March 31, 2010 only 256 temporary housing units remained occupied in Mississippi – more than 99 percent of the families who once occupied FEMA temporary housing units have moved into their repaired or rebuilt homes or into more permanent housing.*
- More than 126,000 families in Mississippi have received rental assistance funds.
Some 2,830 Mississippi families moved from FEMA temporary housing to Mississippi Cottages. About 1,105 cottages are currently occupied. The Mississippi Cottages were developed through the Mississippi Alternative Housing Program, which is administered by MEMA and funded by a $280 million federal grant. The temporary housing portion of the program ended Jan. 31 2009. The program is in the process of converting units for permanent use to residents who remain in need. For more information about the program, visit www.mscottage.com.
Rebuilding Mississippi Infrastructure
- Nearly 900 state and local governments have applied for FEMA Public Assistance.
- More than $3.1 billion in FEMA Public Assistance funds has been obligated to rebuild infrastructure in Mississippi. Some of this grant money includes:
- About $646 million for the restoration of public buildings;
- Nearly $894 million for public utilities;
- More than $183 million for public recreational facilities;
- About $92 million for roads and bridges
MEMA administers PA funds. To date, MEMA has disbursed nearly $2.1 billion to Hurricane Katrina PA applicants for debris removal and rebuilding projects including bridges, public buildings and utilities.
Preparing for future disasters today
- FEMA has obligated more than $181 million for 294 Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) projects across the state.
- More than $77 million was approved for shelters to protect approximately 33,613 residents and first responders – with more on the way.
- A total of $293 million has been allocated for HMGP in Mississippi. Communities throughout the state are more prepared than ever for future disasters as 284 jurisdictions now have MEMA/FEMA approved hazard mitigation plans – up from only seven approved plans before Katrina.
- More than $2.8 billion in Nati...