The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
April 17, 2001

President Declares Several Mississippi Counties Disaster Areas

The  President  today  declared  a  major  disaster  exists in the State of Mississippi  and ordered Federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts  in  the  area  struck  by severe storms and flooding on April 3-5, 2001.

The   President's  action  makes  Federal  funding  available  to  affected individuals  in  Attala,  Holmes  and Lee Counties and local governments in Attala, Holmes, Leake, Lee, and Neshoba Counties.

Assistance  can  include  disaster housing, grants, low-cost loans to cover uninsured  property  losses,  and  other  programs  to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

Federal  funding  also  is  available  to  eligible  local governments on a cost-sharing  basis  for  the  repair  or  replacement of public facilities damaged  by  the  severe  storms  and  flooding.   Federal  funding is also available on a cost share basis for hazard mitigation measures.

Joe  M.  Allbaugh,  Director  of  the  Federal  Emergency Management Agency (FEMA),  named  John  D.  Hannah  as  the  Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected area.

The  Agency  said  that  damage  surveys are continuing in other areas, and additional  assistance  and counties may be added after the assessments are completed.

The  Agency said that residents and business owners who sustained losses in the  designated  counties  can  begin  applying  for assistance tomorrow by calling  1-800-462-9029, or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired.   The  toll-free  telephone numbers will operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.



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