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Mississippi Asking for Federal Assistance After Tornadoes

By Daniel Cherry | Published 19 Apr 2011 10:04am | comments

The Governor is expected to ask the federal government for assistance today. That's following Friday's deadly tornado outbreak which severely damaged or destroyed more than 300 homes in Mississippi. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports on FEMA's damage assessment.

FEMA crews are on the ground in parts of Mississippi looking at property damage. FEMA spokesman, Eugene Brezany says they're trying to determine if any of the heavily damaged areas will be eligible for federal disaster assistance.

"What we're really looking for is the assessment of unmet needs. Those people who have insurance or are underinsured may in fact be needing some additional assistance."

The FEMA crews are assessing damage in Hinds, Greene, and Kemper counties. Greg Flynn is a spokesman for the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency. He says it's likely those areas will qualify as disaster zones.

"We kind of know what the thresholds are, and before we even call and bring in the federal teams we know, we're confident. So if you see federal teams on the ground, the Governor and my director are very confident that we're going to meet that criteria."

This assessment is only looking at damage to homes and businesses. Jim Busby of Clinton has insurance, but he says he needs assistance with the high cost of tree removal.

"It's going to cost me $11,000. I also have two duplexes and a house. Of course I'm going to have to do tree removal for that. I'm looking at probably $16,000 to get it fixed out of my pocket that insurance is not going to take care of."

FEMA says debris removal falls under Infrastructure Assistance. It will be determined later if those funds will become available. Daniel Cherry...MPB News. 

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