The Progress of Mississippi's Recovery

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Release date: 
August 11, 2011
Release Number: 
1972/1983-051

Clinton, Miss. -- Residents and communities in Mississippi are recovering from severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that struck the state this spring. The strong partnership between the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency has helped many families and local governments start the recovery process.

Mississippi was hit by a catastrophic storm system that moved through the state from April 15 to April 28, spawning deadly winds, flooding and tornadoes. A massive EF-5 tornado ripped through the town of Smithville, killing 17. In all, 36 counties in the state received a presidential disaster declaration for FEMA Individual Assistance or Public Assistance.

In May, the Mississippi River and its tributaries flooded to record-breaking levels, resulting in a presidential disaster declaration for FEMA Individual Assistance or Public Assistance in 14 counties, three of which -- DeSoto, Tunica and Coahoma -- were also included in the declaration for the spring storms and tornadoes.

During the past four months, much progress has been made toward recovery.

Key Developments -- Storms and Tornadoes

  • In storm and tornado affected counties, 7,764 individuals and households registered for federal assistance.
  • FEMA grants to individuals total more than $15 million to date, and the Small Business Administration has provided more than $8 million in low-interest loans to individuals and businesses.
  • More than 1,000 households received rental assistance after the storms and tornadoes.
  • The first temporary housing units for the tornado survivors were installed on May 12, less than two weeks after the declaration. Ultimately, 81 families moved into FEMA temporary manufactured homes.
  • About 546,000 cubic yards of debris have been removed from affected counties. A portion of this was removed from Smithville by Operation Clean Sweep.

Key Developments -- River Flooding

  • In flood affected counties, 3,844 individuals and households registered for federal assistance.
  • FEMA grants to individuals total more than $11 million to date, and SBA has provided more than $11 million in low-interest loans to individuals and businesses.
  • More than 1,200 households have received rental assistance.
  • The first temporary housing units for flood survivors were installed on June 17, less than two weeks after the declaration. Ultimately, 55 families moved into FEMA temporary manufactured homes.
  • About 100,000 cubic yards of debris have been removed from flooded areas.

A Fast Response

  • Within 72 hours of the April 29 presidential disaster declaration for the storms and tornadoes, FEMA disbursed more than $251,600 to help disaster-affected Mississippians pay for temporary housing assistance; uninsured personal property losses; disaster-related medical, dental and funeral expenses; and other serious needs.
  • Nearly $42,000 in similar assistance was provided to flood survivors within 72 hours of the May 11 presidential declaration.
  • Disaster Recovery Centersopened throughout Mississippi within seven days of the declaration for each disaster, quickly giving survivors in the hardest-hit areas a place to meet face-to-face with recovery staff:
    • Nine DRCs opened immediately for the tornado disaster; a total of 16 centers eventually opened to reach more than 7,700 survivors.
    • Five DRCs opened immediately for the flood disaster; a total of seven centers eventually opened to reach more than 3,800 survivors.

Rebuilding for a Stronger Future

  • More than 27,000 people received information on stronger, safer building techniques that can save property and liv...
Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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