By Robbie Ward
TUPELO – Mississippi’s two U.S. Senators and two Congressman touring tornado destruction in Tupelo and Lee County assured the region and state that federal resources will flow into the state as soon as possible to assist with recovery efforts.
On Wednesday night, word came that President Barack Obama had signed an order declaring the affected region a federal disaster area. That means the region can receive assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, pending legislative approval.
U.S. Sens. Roger Wicker and Thad Cochran and U.S. Reps. Alan Nunnelee and Greg Harper surveyed neighborhoods, business areas and rural parts damaged from Monday’s powerful tornado thought to have had wind speed of 150 mph. Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton accompanied the federal elected leaders and a representative of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.
The group stopped at North Gloster and Green Street to speak briefly about federal relief available.
“We’re going to make sure Mississippi gets every benefit it’s entitled to,” said Wicker, who lives in Tupelo. “We’re going back to Washington to deliver the message of what we see here.”
Gov. Phil Bryant earlier signed a letter to President Obama today asking for an expedited federal disaster declaration for the state to allow federal money, supplies and services to help local and state emergency workers with cleanup and other recovery actions. During Bryant said during his visit to Tupelo Tuesday that recovery efforts would likely take months.
All six members of Mississippi’s Congressional delegation also signed the letter.
Before returning to Washington, D.C., late today, the Congressional officials will visit other parts of the state impacted by the 12 tornados in 40 counties.
State auditor Stacy Pickering visited with Shelton and Tupelo City Clerk Kim Hanna to review emergency spending protocol. Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves is scheduled to tour the city and county on Thursday.
Read more online and in Thursday’s Daily Journal.
Gov. Phil Bryant’s letter to President Barack Obama asking for a federal disaster declaration
Mississippi’s Congressional delegation sent this letter to President Obama