By Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal
Residents in seven Northeast Mississippi counties have already been approved for more than $1 million in disaster aid in relation to the storms and flooding that hit the area in April and May.
Statewide, some $4.6 million in grants and loans is approved so far.
Tornadoes hammered the state on April 23 and 24, including an F4 that killed 10 people and destroyed or damaged hundreds of buildings from Warren County on the west to Oktibbeha County on the east.
The next weekend, six people died in Northeast Mississippi in twisters and weather-related traffic accidents.
MEMA and FEMA have approved more than $3.5 million in grants to help eligible disaster survivors with housing and other serious disaster-related needs. Housing assistance can be used for temporary rental payments, home repairs, support toward replacing a destroyed home, or temporary housing units.
Another $1.1 million has been approved in Small Business Administration low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and private nonprofits. These loan funds were approved to repair or replace real estate and/or personal property damaged by the disasters.
More than $1.14 million in disaster aid went to Yazoo County, in which more than 300 homes were damaged or destroyed and four people were killed on April 24.
The process for aid is a request by local officials – usually city or county governments – to the state, and then from the state to the federal government.
“When a disaster is declared, the individual counties then conduct surveys of the damage zones,” said MEMA spokesman Jody Correro. “FEMA will send an inspector out to see every home in the disaster area.”