JACKSON, Miss. (WLOX) - Following
Friday night’s deadly slew of storms and tornadoes throughout northern Mississippi, Gov. Tate Reeves and the state Senate are urging President Joe Biden to approve a federal disaster declaration for the state.
“The scale of the damage and loss is evident everywhere affected today,” said Gov. Reeves in a press release sent out on Saturday. “From homes, to businesses, and even entire communities. Respond, recover, rebuild together. That is the mission.”
Assistance would be directed to Carroll, Humphreys, Monroe and Sharkey counties, where
26 people have been declared dead as of 4 p.m. Saturday. Dozens more are reported to be injured.
The full letter sent by the state Senate to President Biden reads:
Dear President Biden,
In the wake of recent extreme weather that brought severe thunderstorms and tornadoes to the State of Mississippi, we request your full consideration of Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves’s request for a federal disaster declaration for areas of the State of Mississippi affected by, or areas that may be affected by, these severe storms.
We appreciate the efforts of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and anticipate expeditious support from the agency in assisting state and local officials in Mississippi as they continue assessing the severity of damages. Should Governor Reeves request federal disaster declarations for other counties, we ask that you also give these requests your full consideration.
Initial damage reports indicate Mississippi experienced multiple tornadoes across four counties on March 24, 2023. The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) reported that as of the morning of March 25, 2023, at least 23 Mississippians have lost their lives and dozens more were injured.
As Governor Reeves included in his request, the initial damage assessments indicate that hundreds of homes, businesses, and other structures were destroyed or suffered major damage across a broad swath of our state. There was also significant damage to the power grid in these areas.
Currently available resources from state and local governments and volunteer organizations are inadequate to meet the state’s recovery needs. Significant federal assistance and cooperation are needed for Mississippi to rebuild.
Thank you for your consideration of this request. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you need further assistance in this effort.
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