FEB. 19-24, APRIL 13-14, 2019 Severe Storms, Tornadoes and Flooding Information

Four Counties Added to Federal Disaster 4429 for Public Assistance

PEARL – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved Issaquena, Sharkey, Warren, and Yazoo Counties for Public Assistance under Federal Disaster 4429, which is in response to the February 22-24 severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that impacted the state. Public Assistance is a supplemental cost reimbursement grant program that assists in the restoration of community infrastructure.

The addition of these counties brings the total number receiving federal assistance to 29. The others already included in this disaster are Alcorn, Calhoun, Carroll, Chickasaw, Clay, Coahoma, Grenada, Humphreys, Itawamba, Lafayette, Lee, Leflore, Lowndes, Montgomery, Panola, Pontotoc, Prentiss, Quitman, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tishomingo, Union, Washington Webster and Yalobusha.

The Public Assistance categories are as follows:

  • Category A: Debris Removal.
  • Category B: Emergency Protective Measures.
  • Category C: Roads and Bridges.
  • Category D: Water Control Facilities.
  • Category E: Buildings and Equipment.
  • Category F: Utilities.
  • Category G: Parks, Recreational Facilities and Other Items.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is still waiting for a response from FEMA regarding an Individual Assistance declaration for Humphreys, Issaquena, Sharkey, Warren and Yazoo counties. Individual Assistance provides financial help or direct services to individuals who have disaster-caused expenses that are not covered by insurance or other means.

For more information about recovery efforts, visit MEMA’s website at www.msema.org. The best way to get up-to-date information is to “Like” MEMA on Facebook, @msemaorg or “Follow” us on Twitter @msema.

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Two Mississippi Counties Added to Federal Disasters

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved Humphreys County to receive Public Assistance only as part of Federal Disaster Number 4429, which is in response to the February 22-24 severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that impacted the state. Additionally, Holmes County is approved for Public Assistance only as a part of Federal Disaster Number 4450, which is in response to severe storms, straight-line winds, tornadoes, and flooding that impacted Mississippi on April 13th and 14th.

The addition of Humphreys County brings the total number of counties receiving federal assistance under Disaster Number 4429 to 25. The others already included in this disaster are Alcorn, Calhoun, Carroll, Chickasaw, Clay, Coahoma, Grenada, Itawamba, Lafayette, Lee, Leflore, Lowndes, Montgomery, Panola, Pontotoc, Prentiss, Quitman, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tishomingo, Union, Washington, Webster and Yalobusha.

Meanwhile, the addition of Holmes County to Disaster Number 4450 brings the total number of counties receiving assistance to nine. The other counties already included in this disaster are Clarke, Clay, Itawamba, Kemper, Monroe, Oktibbeha, Warren and Yazoo.

The Public Assistance categories are as follows:

• Category A: Debris Removal.
• Category B: Emergency Protective Measures.
• Category C: Roads and Bridges.
• Category D: Water Control Facilities.
• Category E: Buildings and Equipment.
• Category F: Utilities.
• Category G: Parks, Recreational Facilities and Other Items

Mississippi is also approved statewide for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, which is for measures/actions taken that reduce or eliminate long term risk to people and property from natural hazards.

View press release here.

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Applicant Briefing FEMA 4429
View briefing here

Applicant Briefing FEMA 4450
View briefing here

 

FEMA Issues Public Notice
View public notice here

 

Four Additional Counties Added to Mississippi’s Latest Federal Disaster Declaration

PEARL – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved four more counties to receive Public Assistance as part of Federal Disaster Number 4429, which is in response to the February 22-24 severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that impacted the state.

Those counties, as previously requested by Governor Phil Bryant, are Coahoma, Leflore, Sunflower and Washington.

The addition of these four counties brings the total number receiving federal assistance to 24. The others already included in this disaster are Alcorn, Calhoun, Carroll, Chickasaw, Clay, Grenada, Itawamba, Lafayette, Lee, Lowndes, Montgomery, Panola, Pontotoc, Prentiss, Quitman, Tallahatchie, Tishomingo, Union, Webster and Yalobusha.

The Public Assistance categories are as follows:

• Category A: Debris Removal.
• Category B: Emergency Protective Measures.
• Category C: Roads and Bridges.
• Category D: Water Control Facilities.
• Category E: Buildings and Equipment.
• Category F: Utilities.
• Category G: Parks, Recreational Facilities and Other Items.

Both MEMA and FEMA will continue to complete joint damage assessments in other counties that were affected by the February storm system. Additional designations may occur at a later date, if requested by the state and warranted by the results of those assessments.

Mississippi is also approved statewide for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, which is for measures/actions taken that reduce or eliminate long term risk to people and property from natural hazards.

May 23rd Update:

Here is the Mississippi River/Backwater flooding information briefed to Governor Bryant during the May 22nd meeting with MEMA Executive Director Greg Michel, the United States Army Corps of Engineers and other leadership from Issaquena, Sharkey, Warren and Yazoo counties.

Backwater Flooding Brief from May 22nd

May 22nd Update:

Governor Bryant, MEMA Executive Director Greg Michel, Army Corps of Engineers, Warren County Emergency Management and the Warren County Sheriff provide an update on the Mississippi River and Yazoo Basin Backwater Flooding.

MEMA Field Services also provided the Governor and State/Local Leadership with updated drone footage of the Backwater Flooding in Issaquena and Warren Counties.

May 1st Update:

13 Additional Counties Added to Mississippi’s Latest Federal Disaster Declaration

JACKSON Gov. Phil Bryant’s request for 13 additional counties to be added to Federal Disaster Number 4429, for all categories of Public Assistance, has been approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Those counties include Alcorn, Carroll, Itawamba, Lafayette, Lee, Montgomery, Panola, Prentiss, Quitman, Tallahatchie, Union, Webster and Yalobusha Counties.

On April 23rd, Gov. Bryant announced that President Donald Trump originally declared Calhoun, Chickasaw, Clay, Grenada, Lowndes, Pontotoc and Tishomingo counties as federal disaster areas.  That brings the total number of counties declared to 20. The declaration is in response to the severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding that impacted Mississippi from February 22 thru February 24, and ended with the rising of the Yazoo Basin backwater flooding on March 29, 2019.

The Public Assistance categories are as follows:

  • Category A: Debris Removal.
  • Category B: Emergency Protective Measures.
  • Category C: Roads and Bridges.
  • Category D: Water Control Facilities.
  • Category E: Buildings and Equipment.
  • Category F: Utilities.
  • Category G: Parks, Recreational Facilities and Other Items.

The Individual Assistance request (assistance to individuals and households) was denied. The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) will appeal the ruling to FEMA.

Both MEMA and FEMA will continue to complete joint damage assessments on other counties that were affected by the February storm system. additional designations may occur, at a later date, if requested by the state and warranted by the results of those assessments.

Mississippi is also approved statewide for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, which is for measures/actions taken that reduce or eliminate long term risk to people and property from natural hazards.

For more information about recovery efforts, visit MEMA’s website at www.msema.org. The best way to get up-to-date information is to “Like” MEMA on Facebook, @msemaorg or “Follow” us on Twitter @msema.

April 23 Update:

Seven Mississippi Counties Declared Federal Disaster Areas

JACKSON – Gov. Phil Bryant announced that President Donald Trump declared Calhoun, Chickasaw, Clay, Grenada, Lowndes, Pontotoc and Tishomingo counties as federal disaster areas on April 23, 2019.  The declaration is in response to the severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding that impacted Mississippi from February 22 thru February 24, and ended with the rising of the Yazoo Basin backwater flooding on March 29, 2019.   

Those seven counties are eligible for Public Assistance, which is reimbursement grants to local governments and non-profit organizations for things like damage to infrastructure, debris removal, and overtime to responders.

Individual Assistance (assistance to individuals and households) is still under review.

“I am grateful to President Trump and his administration for its approval of our request,” Gov. Bryant said. “This declaration will help these seven counties in rebuilding their infrastructure that is still significantly damaged”.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, along with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), will continue to complete joint damage assessments on those counties that were affected by the February storm system. Additional designations may occur at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of those assessments.

“We currently have 13 additional counties that we’ve asked FEMA to join us in assessing the damages”, said MEMA Executive Director Greg Michel. “I anticipate more counties being added to this federal disaster declaration” 

Mississippi is also approved statewide for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, which is for measures/actions taken that reduce or eliminate long term risk to people and property from natural hazards.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER FLOODING

Warren County – Partially Closed Roads

  • Floweree Road
  • Eagle-Lakeshore Road

 

Video of current flooding situation:

 

Road Closures:

  • State Route 149 at Erickson Road in Yazoo County
  • State Route 465 between U.S. Highway 61 and Eagle Lake Shore Road (the backwater levee) in Warren County.
  • State Route 24 at Fort Adams Pond Road in Wilkinson County.

 

Emergency flood warning and mandatory evacuation of the Eagle Lake area

The Warren County Board of Supervisors has passed a resolution declaring an emergency flood warning and mandatory evacuation of the Eagle Lake area. As the Mississippi River backwaters into the Eagle Lake area the waters are expected to exceed flood levels and are projected to rise even higher. The roads leading to the area are already flooding causing limited access to residents by emergency vehicles. 

US Army Corps of Engineers to open Muddy Bayou Control Structure –
Click here for more info.

MEMA EXTENDS APPLICATION DEADLINE FOR TEMPORARY HOUSING ASSISTANCE – March 27th, 2019

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency’s deadline to apply for the Temporary Housing Assistance Program (THP) is extended to Friday, March 29.  This program is for storm victims in the state who were affected by the February 23-24 severe storms and widespread flooding.

The THP will provide rental reimbursement for eligible residents who were displaced for at least 72 hours from their homes due to storm impacts. The program is designed to provide temporary housing for owners and uninsured renters who have been displaced from their homes because the dwelling is not habitable, accessible, safe, sanitary or secure.  The program does not provide reimbursement or funds for destroyed property, incurred spoiled food, or other incidental expenses.

Residents can complete an application at one of the five designated MS Temporary Housing Program Center locations listed below.

Hours of operation:

Weekdays:  10:00am – 7:00pm

Weekends:  9:00am – 6:00pm

 

Grenada County                                        229 Martin Luther King Dr., Grenada MS      Lewis Johnson Senior Center Complex Lowndes County                                                             402 2nd Avenue, North, Columbus MS                 Trotter Convention Center
Lee County                                                 395 East Mobile Street, Saltillo MS               Saltillo City Hall “Community Room” Yazoo County                                                                  328 Grand Avenue, Yazoo City, MS                        First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall
Warren County                                               3505 Pemberton Square Blvd., Vicksburg MS  Pemberton Mall

 

Impacted residents can receive additional information regarding the MS Temporary Housing Program by calling 800-434-4243 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Applicants should bring or be prepared to provide the following important items to successfully complete the application process.

  • Personal Contact Information and Current Residence
  • Proof of address and/or homestead exemption to prove your primary residence was damaged.
  • Government or State issued photo Identification (Driver’s License)
  • Pertinent family/household data such as Social Security number(s) age, and number of family members.  Identify any individual special needs requirements.
  • Rental reimbursement receipt from a landlord who MEMA will contact.
  • Name and contact information of your mortgage companies.
  • Name, address, and telephone of your insurance company, a copy of your policy, and any insurance payment or settlement information.

Depending upon the damage to a residence, the program may provide up to three months of rental reimbursement. Assistance is provided on a case by case basis, in 30 days increments, with proof of need validated by submittal of receipts.  All information provided to MEMA by storm victims will be verified for accuracy prior to delivery of assistance.  Payments made from the program will be reported to the Mississippi State Tax Commission.

MEMA will provide updates to this program as they become available through the 1-800 Call Center, and at each MS Temporary Housing Program Center. You can also follow MEMA on social media on Facebook, @msemaorg and twitter, @msema.

 

FEMA & MEMA to Begin Joint Damage Assessments This Week 

This week the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and select local emergency management offices will be conducting Joint Damage Assessments in response to the severe storms and flooding that impacted the state from February 19th-24th. For more info click here.

 

Mississippi Vital Records Representatives to set up again in Columbus on March 8th

The Office of Vital Records personnel will return tomorrow, March 8, from 10 am to 6 pm to deliver Birth Certificates for those who submitted applications on March 6. They will also take applications tomorrow as well however those Birth Certificates will be mailed to applicants. 

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Update: Per Tunica County Emergency Management Director Leron Weeks:

Fitz Casino & Hotel, in Tunica County, is temporary closed due to Mississippi River flooding of the access road leading to the Casino. The remaining six casinos in the county are open & operational, at this time. Tunica County Emergency Management is closely monitoring the situation and will give further updates as they become available.

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MEMA is assisting the affected counties with initial damage assessments and resource coordination in response to Feb. 23 tornado outbreak. We will provide more information here as we receive it.

The State Emergency Operations Center is activated and monitoring any requests or unmet needs from the county emergency management offices. 

The public is encouraged to report damage to homes or businesses to their county emergency management office. A directory of all the offices can be found at http://www.msema.org/county-ema/

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PEARL – The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency continues to receive updated damage reports from 40 counties due to severe storms and tornadoes on February 23rd, along with flooding that started on February 19th and is currently ongoing throughout the state.

These damage reports serve only as initial assessments from the county emergency management offices and will change (either higher or lower) as additional reports and assessments are sent to MEMA. 

So far, over 700 residences, close to 500 roads and bridges and 90 businesses are affected statewide.

Initial damage reports by county (assessments ongoing):

    • Alcorn: Assessments ongoing, EF-0 and EF-1 tornado confirmed by National Weather Service – Memphis.
    • Bolivar: Assessments ongoing/delayed due to flood levels.
    • Calhoun: 41 homes, 14 businesses and 53 roads damaged; five public buildings damaged.
    • Carroll: 45 roads, nine bridges and one public building damaged
    • Chickasaw: Two homes, two businesses and 38 roads damaged; nine bridges and one public building damaged
    • Clarke: Two homes damaged, three businesses and two roads damaged.
    • Clay: 72 homes, two businesses, 12 roads and five bridges damaged
    • Coahoma: Two homes, two businesses and 11 roads damaged.
    • Grenada: 115 homes and 20 businesses damaged. More than 50 roads and bridges damaged.
    • Holmes: Two homes, one business and four roads damaged
    • Humphreys: Assessments ongoing
    • Issaquena: One home and five roads damaged.
    • Itawamba: 50 roads damaged.
    • Lafayette: Six homes, three business, 28 roads and one bridge damaged
    • Lee: 49 homes and one business damaged
    • Leflore: 20 homes and 30 roads damaged
    • Lincoln: One home damaged.
    • Lowndes: EF-0 Tornado in Artesia; EF-3 Tornado in Columbus, both confirmed by National Weather Service – Jackson
      • Power restored to the city of Columbus (To those that can receive power)
      • Approximately 100 residences cannot receive power, due to storm damage.
      • 19 injuries reported.
      • 275 homes damaged; 38 businesses damaged; Nine public building damaged
      • MEMA Personnel have been deployed to the city of Columbus and continue resource coordination.
      • To view MEMA Field Services drone footage of the city of Columbus, click here.
    • Madison: Assessments ongoing
    • Monroe: 32 roads damaged, three businesses and 15 bridges damaged
    • Montgomery: 40 roads
    • Noxubee: 30 homes damaged
    • Panola: 18 homes, two businesses and two roads damaged; two public buildings damaged
    • Pontotoc: 11 roads and six bridges damaged
    • Prentiss: 46 roads damaged
    • Quitman: 66 homes and 22 roads damaged
    • Rankin: One home damaged.
    • Sharkey: Three homes and 13 roads damaged.
    • Simpson: One business damaged.
    • Smith: Assessments ongoing
    • Sunflower: Three homes damaged; one farm property damaged.
    • Tallahatchie: 40 homes damaged; multiple apartments affected; two businesses and 40 roads damaged.
    • Tishomingo: EF-2 Tornado confirmed by National Weather Service – Memphis
      • 11 homes, 38 roads and two bridges damaged
    • Tunica: Assessments ongoing
    • Union: 22 roads damaged
    • Warren: Assessments ongoing
    • Washington: 25 homes and 31 roads damaged
    • Webster: One home and 65 roads damaged; three bridges damaged
    • Yalobusha: Eight roads and one bridge damaged
    • Yazoo: Assessments ongoing

     

Open Shelters:

  • Lowndes County: Townsend Community Center – 826 15th Street, Columbus, MS 39701

 

Volunteer Reception Center:

Unaffiliated Volunteers looking to serve in the Columbus/Lowndes County area should register with the Volunteer Reception Center in Columbus.  The Center is operated by “Volunteer Columbus”.  Lowndes County/Columbus leadership is asking that volunteers do not go out in the community without first checking in at the Volunteer Reception Center.

  • Location: Trotter Convention Center- 402 2nd Avenue North, Columbus, MS 39701
  • Hours:
  • Monday-Friday: 8AM-6PM for Survivors, 8AM-4PM for Volunteers
  • Saturday: 9AM-3PM (Both survivors and volunteers)

 

Volunteer Organizations in the field (Statewide and in the City of Columbus):

  • Mississippi Volunteers After a Disaster (MS VOAD), Salvation Army, American Red Cross, Eight Days of Hope, United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), United Way, Volunteer Columbus, Mississippi Baptist Disaster Relief, Convoy of Hope, Team Hope-Assemblies of God, Mississippi Response Network, Catholic Charities.
  • All organizations are engaged in clean up, debris removal, chainsaw cutting, tarping and feeding support.

 

Mississippi Civil Defense and Emergency Management Association (MCDEMA)

  • Emergency Managers have been assisting their county neighbors/partners in damage assessments and resource sharing, through the Statewide Mutual Aid Compact (SMAC)
  • SMAC provides a plan/agreement for cities and counties to request and receive assistance from each other when local resources are exhausted.

  

MEMA Resources Deployed:

  • Personnel deployed to affected areas for damage assessments, staffing of county emergency management offices, resident assistance and asset delivery.
  • Personnel deployed to affected areas to capture/track unmet needs of residents (temporary housing/shelters, feeding, etc.).
  • Drones with pilots to provide aerial capability in damage assessments, click here.
  • 70,000 sandbags delivered to more than 10 counties statewide
  • More than 200 tarps to Lowndes and Tishomingo Counties

 

Governor Phil Bryant signed and declared a State of Emergency on February 25th in response to the damage caused statewide by severe weather. A State of Emergency is an administrative tool that authorizes the use of state resources to aid in response and recovery efforts.

The State Emergency Operations Center is activated and monitoring any requests or unmet needs from the county emergency management offices.

The public is encouraged to report damage to homes or businesses to their county emergency management office. A directory of all the offices can be found at http://www.msema.org/county-ema/

MEMA will provide updates as information becomes available. The best way to get up-to-date information during this event is to “Like” MEMA on Facebook, or “Follow” us on twitter @msema.

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Residents urged to use caution when operating chainsaws and portable generators

PEARL- In the wake of multiple severe weather and tornado outbreaks, many Mississippi residents are operating chainsaws to remove debris and running portable generators until power is restored in affected areas.  The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) would like to remind people who are utilizing this equipment to operate it safely.

Here are some tips to keep you and your family safe when using a chainsaw:

  • Operate, adjust and maintain the saw according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Properly sharpen chainsaw blades and properly lubricate the blade.
  • Choose the proper size of chainsaw to match the job.
  • Wear the appropriate protective equipment including a hard-hat, safety glasses and protective clothing.
  • Avoid power lines.
  • Bystanders should remain at least two tree lengths or 150 feet away.
  • Beware of injury from bent trees or branches.

Here are some additional tips when operating a portable generator:

  • Never use a generator inside a building.
  • Follow the instructions that come with your generator.
  • Install a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector inside of your home or dwelling.
  • Operate the generator is a dry place as moisture can increase the risk of shock or electrocution.
  • Connect appliances to the generator using heavy-duty extension cords designed for outdoor use.
  • Never try to power the house by plugging the generator into a wall outlet.
  • Before refueling a generator, turn it off and let it cool down to avoid an accidental fire.

Any injuries requiring more than minor first aid should be treated by a medical professional. Call 9-1-1 for immediate medical care.

MEMA asks the public to report any damages to their local emergency management office.  For a full list of contact numbers for your county, visit http://www.msema.org/county-ema/.

 The best way to get up-to-date information is to “Like” MEMA @msemaorg on Facebook, or “Follow” us on Twitter, @msema.