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Lawmakers Prepare to Provide Tornado Relief

By Paul Boger | Published 08 May 2014 08:30am | comments

Mississippi lawmakers will be back at the state Capitol today to help provide assistance to those affected by last week's deadly tornadoes MPB's Paul Boger reports on the continuing recovery efforts around the state.

Governor Phil Bryant has asked state lawmakers to provide up to 20 million dollars so that the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency can provide aid to those recovering from last week's devastating storms. Robert Latham is the agencies' director.
 
"[What] we're trying to do is have enough money to take care of the immediate costs for the communities that have been impacted." Latham said. "To expedite reimbursement, because the agency, now, does not have the money to up-front any jurisdiction or pay any cost share, whether it be state or local."
 
While initial estimates put the state's share of recovery costs at 13.5 million dollars, damage estimates have not been completed in all 12 effected counties. Federal aid is also available to many victims, but for some help cannot come fast enough. Stephanie Ivy was injured during the storm and may not be able to work for another 3 weeks. She worries that time away from work will put her in debt.
 
"Been going back and forth to the doctor's." Ivy said. "I've been off work for a whole week now, and they got me off again for another three weeks. I mean, I can't make no money to pay my bills and stuff. I got three baby's, they got to be taken care of also. It's going to put me in a set back.
 
Louisville resident Carla Hampton is also worried aid won't come fast enough. She says she just wants the nightmare to be over. 
 
"We've lost everything." says Hampton. "We lost our home, all our contents, we lost everything. Someday's, I wake up I just feel like I'm waiting to wake up. I'm thinking that this is a nightmare and I'll wake up. Eventually, I'll wake up and it'll be a bad dream and someday's I just feel like -- especially when I go back to my home and I look at it -- it's hard for me to deal with.
 
The National Weather Service has counted 23 tornadoes that touched down across the Mississippi, killing 14 in the state.

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