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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
October 1, 2002

Statement by the Press Secretary

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 Tropical Storm Isidore on September 23, 2002, and continuing.

The President's action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals in the counties of Amite, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Pearl River, Pike, and Stone.

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 Tropical Storm Isidore. The counties include Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Lincoln, Pearl River, and Pike. Federal funding is also available on a cost share basis for hazard mitigation measures. The counties include Amite, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Lincoln, Pearl River, and Pike.

Joe M. Allbaugh, Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), named Michael Bolch 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 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 1-800-621-FEMA(3362), 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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