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Deadline for disaster assistance is Monday

By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
June 19, 2003
Monday is the deadline to register for disaster relief from severe storms and floods that damaged area property April 6-25.
A total of $28.1 million in federal and state disaster aid has been approved for residents in 31 central and southwestern Mississippi counties that sustained damages during severe storms that caused tornadoes, high winds and floods.
Counties declared disaster areas by President Bush at the request of Gov. Ronnie Musgrove included Lauderdale, Clarke, Kemper, Neshoba, Newton, Scott and Wayne.
As of June 12, the number of applications for disaster relief submitted from area counties were: Lauderdale, 344; Newton, 71; Kemper, 11; Neshoba, 12; Clarke, 104; Wayne, 31; Scott, 66.
The amount of disaster relief for individual counties was unavailable Wednesday, according to Jay Eaker, a FEMA spokesman. He said a total of 12,380 applicants have sought various forms of federal and state disaster assistance statewide.
To date $11.7 million in federal funds have been approved for individual and households programs. A total of $2 million in state funds have been approved for individual and households programs and $8.7 million in U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Loans have been approved.
Anyone who suffered storm, tornado, or flood damage must call the Federal Emergency Management Agency toll-free telephone number to apply for assistance, (800) 621-FEMA.
Homeowners, renters and business owners in the counties designated as disaster areas have a wide range of disaster relief available to them.
FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Carlos Mitchell, who is in charge of the recovery effort, said even though the deadline to apply for assistance is Monday, FEMA will continue to process applications for assistance beyond that point.
Eaker said all applications submitted by the deadline will be processed.
Lauderdale County also is one of 13 counties declared eligible for the Public Assistance Program, as were Clarke, Kemper, Neshoba, Newton and Scott counties. The program gives disaster assistance for public infrastructure.
To date the program has made $5.6 million available to reimburse the cost of debris removal and the repair of roads, bridges, public buildings, utilities and to help pay police officers, firefighters and other emergency responders for overtime.