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Miss. Delegation Requests Federal Disaster Declaration in Wake of Devastating Storms and Record Flooding

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Washington, March 25, 2019 | comments

WASHINGTON – Mississippi’s congressional delegation, which includes U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., and U.S. Representatives Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., Trent Kelly, R-Miss., and Michael Guest, R-Miss., today sent a letter to President Trump requesting full consideration of Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant’s request for a federal disaster declaration in the wake of devastating weather events and record flooding across the state.

The delegation’s letter referenced preliminary damage reports that show 43 of Mississippi’s 82 counties have been affected. The letter also referenced Governor Bryant’s request, which documented at least 1,323 lost or damaged homes, 126 affected businesses, 839 destroyed or damaged roads, 35 impacted bridges, and one fatality. Fifteen Mississippi counties are currently experiencing flooding, which will cause these initial assessments to increase.

The full text of the delegation’s letter:

Dear President Trump,

In the wake of recent devastating weather events and record flooding across the State of Mississippi, we request your full consideration of Governor Phil Bryant's request for a Major Disaster Declaration under the Stafford Act.

We appreciate the efforts of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to deploy rapidly to Mississippi to assist state and local officials in estimating the severity of damages across our State from heavy rainfall, severe weather, flooding, and tornadoes.  We recognize that damages continue to occur and pose ongoing safety issues along waters in the State, especially the Mississippi River, Yazoo River (from backwater flooding), and Tennessee Tombigbee Waterway. 

According to preliminary reports, 43 of Mississippi’s 82 counties have been affected.  In the State, 37 counties and 16 municipalities have issued local proclamations of emergency.  As Governor Bryant indicated in his request, an initial evaluation of the damages from the severe storms showed at least 1,323 lost or damaged homes, 126 affected businesses, 839 destroyed or damaged roads, 35 impacted bridges, and one fatality. These numbers will likely grow as future assessments cover the approximately 15 counties still facing flooding.

Resources from the State, local governments, and volunteer organizations are not adequate to recover from these damages.  The effects of torrential rain, severe storms, flooding, and tornadoes require significant funding and cooperation to recover as quickly as possible.  We stand ready to face this challenge by supporting the local communities, the State, and Federal agencies as we work together to rebuild and renew areas affected by these major weather events.

Thank you for your consideration of this request.  Please do not hesitate to contact us should you need further assistance in this effort.

Sincerely,

Roger F. Wicker, United States Senator

Cindy Hyde-Smith, United States Senator

Bennie G. Thompson, Member of Congress

Steven Palazzo, Member of Congress

Trent Kelly, Member of Congress

Michael Guest, Member of Congress

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