JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - President Obama on Friday declared a major disaster exists in the State of Mississippi and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms and flooding beginning on March 9, 2016, and continuing.
The President's action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in the counties of Bolivar, Coahoma, and Washington.
"I appreciate the federal government quickly issuing the disaster declaration, and I'm especially grateful for the support of Mississippi's Congressional Delegation and FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate," said Gov. Bryant. "This declaration will allow residents to being restoring their homes following the devastating floods."
The disaster declaration qualifies affected residents in Bolivar, Coahoma and Washington counties to apply for FEMA's Individual Assistance Program, which provides grants for individuals and families affected by the disaster.
Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
Federal funding is available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.
FEMA said that residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance Saturday by registering online at http://www.DisasterAssistance.gov 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 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.
Additional counties may be added as damage assessments are completed.
Initial estimates showed more than 650 homes in Mississippi sustained major damage or were destroyed as a result of the flooding. Several state agencies, along with numerous nonprofit and faith-based organizations have been assisting with recovery since the storms began.