MS receives federal disaster declaration

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - Mississippi residents and business owners can now access federal emergency assistance programs after President Obama issued a federal disaster declaration for seven Mississippi counties.

"I am grateful to President Obama and the leadership of FEMA for granting our request for a disaster declaration," Gov. Barbour said in a statement Friday night. "Although this declaration covers only the seven hardest-hit counties, this is a good start. This is the first in what I expect to be a series of aid packages from the federal government to help us recover from the tornados and begin the rebuilding process."

The disaster declaration qualifies the following counties for federal assistance: Clarke, Greene, Hinds, Jasper, Kemper, Lafayette and Monroe. These counties will receive FEMA Individual Assistance, which provides grants for individuals and families, Public Assistance, for debris removal and emergency protective measures and low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Hazard Mitigation has been granted statewide.

Counties with damages not listed may still qualify for federal assistance following additional damage assessments that will continue throughout the weekend.

Residents may register online at or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.

For more information call MEMA's Public Information Line at 866-519-MEMA.

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