Alcorn begins storm assessment

CORINTH – The threat of severe weather across north Mississippi on Thursday hampered plans to tour areas of Alcorn County’s 5th District that suffered damage during May 1-2 storms.
Nonetheless, the Federal Emergency Management Agency specialist and 5th District Supervisor Jimmy Tate Walden discussed how they would write up the dozens of sites Walden is recommending for federal public assistance reimbursement.
Teams of FEMA and Mississippi Emergency Management Agency staffs are expected to be in the five counties declared federal disaster areas for several weeks assessing damage from the storms, which included flooding and tornadoes.
“What we will do is work out the details of putting all projects back to pre-disaster conditions,” project specialist Arland Whitlock told Walden.
Under the federal disaster declaration, the federal government will pay 75 percent of the cost, the state will pay an additional 12.5 percent, and the local government will be responsible for 12.5 percent.
Walden’s work in the 5th District was given priority by all the other Alcorn County supervisors because his area sustained the most widespread damage to roads, bridges and culverts.
Additionally, the 5th District has the lowest percentage of paved roads – about 60 percent of his 121 miles – compared to gravel roads of any district in the county. The percentage of paved roads in other districts is about 90 percent or higher.
“We have the most roads out in the Hatchie River drainage area,” Walden said, noting that most of the problems were caused by the record rainfall.
Three rain gauges in Alcorn County each overflowed its 12-inch measurement limit during about 26 hours of rainfall that began the afternoon of May 1 and continued through late afternoon May 2, Emergency Services Director Ricky Gibens said.
Though they were unable to begin visiting each of the sites Thursday, Walden showed Whitlock about 100 photos of locations on roads throughout the district they will need to visit.
“We’ll work out the details as we go through,” Whilock said.

Contact Lena Mitchell at (662) 287-9822 or lena.mitchell@djournal.com.

Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal