Shelter, labor still needed across state and region
As elsewhere across Northeast Mississippi and the South, neighbors are helping neighbors try to get their lives back to normal in Lafayette County.
• Lafayette County Fire Station No. 3 is stacked wall-to-wall with clothes, nonperishable food, bottled water, toiletries and even new toys, but only until Friday, when the building reverts to fire duty. Many families still need furniture and temporary housing.
• Pine Flat United Methodist Church began serving meals to victims and recovery workers the day after the tornado hit the area. Kitchen chief Barbara Arbuckle said many who’ve lost everything have declined to accept groceries, saying others may need them worse.
• At the other extreme of the nobility scale, midnight looters reportedly hit at least one destroyed home. Law enforcement officers control access to some of the hardest hit areas and frequently patrol areas with lesser damage.
• Volunteers are still needed to help cut and move storm-damaged trees from many home sites.
• FEMA has a disaster recovery center at Anchor Baptist Church on Highway 7 between Oxford and Water Valley.
• Recovery leaders will hold a meeting Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Pine Flat Church, 40 County Road 422. Victims and volunteers are encouraged to attend.
Food assistance available
– Applications will be accepted Wednesday through Friday for the issuance of emergency food stamps to victims of the severe weather between April 15 and April 28. The assistance is for storm victims only; current recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program are not eligible for the emergency benefits.
The following locations will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Friday to receive applications:
• Chickasaw County – Chickasaw County Extension Service Office, 415 Lee Horn St., Houston.
• Lafayette County – Lafayette County DHS, 819 Jackson Ave., Oxford.
• Monroe County – Monroe County DHS, 300 S. Front St., Ste. 2, Amory.
• Webster County – Webster County DHS, 53 Government Ave., Eupora.
Applicants must have lived in one of the affected counties and suffered loss of income or damage to property. They also must meet income guidelines and have proof of identity when they apply.
Recovery center in Houston
– The FEMA Disaster Recovery Center is now open for business at the Houston Civic Center on Starkville Road across from Houston High School. The DRC is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.
Before visiting the DRC, people with storm-related losses should register with FEMA by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362) or online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov. Those with speech or hearing impairment may call (TTY) 800-462-7585.
Persons affected by the storms may apply for federal assistance through a web-enabled mobile device or smartphone. Visit M.fema.gov and follow the link to “apply online for federal assistance.”
Emergency experts from MEMA, FEMA, SBA and other agencies will staff the center to explain disaster assistance programs and help storm survivors.
Packing volunteers needed
– AMORY – First Baptist Church in Amory needs 10 volunteers a day to unload, sort and repackage relief items to give to the victims of the tornado.
Volunteers can either come and go, or work two-hour shifts, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. No experience is needed and there will be no heavy lifting.
Call Veronica Knox of Amory at First Baptist (662) 315–4740.
Busby Campground reopens
– The National Park Service has reopened the Jeff Busby Campground, located at milepost 193.1 in Choctaw County. The campground had been temporarily closed due to recent storm damage.
Although fallen and damaged trees have been removed from the campground, trails at Jeff Busby are still closed because of the storm.
Park Heights event set
– TUPELO – A “Relief on the Rooftop” fundraiser for the American Red Cross to help storm victims will be held today from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Park Heights restaurant on Main Street.
The fundraiser will have live music on two stages, free appetizers and a cash bar. Admission is a donation at the door.
NEMS Daily Journal