UPDATE: March 23, 2021 – FEMA approved the State’s request for a time extension to submit for a major disaster declaration due to the Winter Weather Event that occurred February 11-19, 2021. The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency is working with county emergency management agencies and FEMA to complete these assessments by April 16, 2021. Twelve counties have completed their assessments and have met their damage thresholds. Those counties are: Adams, Covington, Jasper, Lafayette, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Leake, Noxubee, Pike, Scott, Walthall and Warren. The total validated figure of damages to date is $19 million.
PEARL, Miss. – The State of Mississippi is requesting a time extension from FEMA to submit for a major disaster declaration due to the Winter Weather Event that occurred February 11-19, 2021. The initial date to submit the request is March 21, 2021, we are requesting a new deadline of April 16, 2021. At this time, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency is working with counties and FEMA to complete joint damage assessments. In order to request a major disaster declaration, FEMA’s validated numbers must be used.
“Given the severity and complexity of damage from the ice storm, these damage assessments require a closer evaluation. If we can do this request right on the front end, it will save us time and energy on the back end and get funds back to our counties and cities so they can repair their infrastructure,” says Governor Tate Reeves.
“Typically, during a disaster, we see surface damage but we’re assessing water system damage, that’s underground. We want this process done right. Unfortunately, in this COVID environment, a lot of federal work is conducted virtually. Our MEMA staff and county emergency management directors are ensuring this process is carried out with the most detailed information. Our citizens deserve the most thorough assessments to ensure that public assistance can be made available,” says MEMA Executive Director Stephen McCraney.
Preliminary disaster numbers show Mississippi has more than $22 million in public damage, $1.9 million in residential damage and $784,167 in commercial damage.
The state of Mississippi is requesting Public Assistance, which is federal assistance for county and municipal governments and certain private nonprofits.
For this disaster, 33 counties and the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians requested joint damage assessments from FEMA:
Adams, Amite, Attala, Choctaw, Claiborne, Copiah, Covington, Franklin, Grenada, Hinds, Jasper, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Kemper, Lafayette, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Leake, Lincoln, Marion, Neshoba, Newton, Noxubee, Pike, Rankin, Scott, Simpson, Smith, Tallahatchie, Walthall, Warren, Winston, Yazoo and the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.
At this time, nine counties have completed Joint Damage Assessments with FEMA: Amite, Covington, Jasper, Jefferson, Pike, Scott, Simpson, Walthall, and Warren.
Time extension requests are common. Mississippi requested a time extension following the Backwater Flood event in 2019.