JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – On Friday, the Mississippi congressional delegation sent a letter to President Donald Trump requesting full consideration of Mississippi Governor Tate Reeve’s request for a major federal disaster declaration in the wake of devastation from severe storms, flooding, straight-line winds, and 17 confirmed tornadoes that occurred January 10-11.
According to the Mississippi congressional delegation, the delegation’s letter referenced damage reports indicating at least 38,297 power outages, 514 lost or damaged homes, 59 affected businesses, 112 destroyed or damaged roads, two damaged bridges, other public property damages, one fatality, and 21 injuries from these events.
The Governor’s request covers 10 counties, including Bolivar, Choctaw, Clay, Desoto, Oktibbeha, Panola, Prentiss, Sunflower, Tishomingo, and Washington Counties, as well as hazard mitigation assistance statewide.
The full text of the delegation’s letter is below:
Dear Mr. President,
In response to severe weather events across the State of Mississippi on January 10 and 11, 2020, we request your full consideration of Governor Tate Reeves’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration under the Stafford Act.
We appreciate the continued efforts of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and anticipate expeditious assistance from the agency in helping state and local officials in Mississippi as they continue their hard work to help these communities recover from damaging storms, straight-line winds, flooding, and 17 confirmed tornadoes.
As Governor Reeves indicated in his request, the Joint Public Assistance damage assessments conducted by the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), FEMA, and other agencies, showed at least 38,297 power outages and 514 lost or damaged homes. In addition, 59 businesses, 27 farms, 112 roads, two bridges, seven non-profit utilities, and other public property were reported as damaged throughout the area. Sadly, one fatality and 21 injuries were reported as a result of these events.
On January 11, 2020, former Governor Phil Bryant declared a State of Emergency in Mississippi to aid in the rebuilding. However, the existing resources from the state government, local governments, and volunteer organizations are inadequate to address all the damage caused and enable a full recovery. All 10 counties included in the request, as well as the State of Mississippi, have met the per capita indicator threshold, and significant federal assistance and cooperation are required. This is especially true given the record number of tornadoes confirmed in Mississippi in 2019.
We are determined to help Mississippi recover by supporting local communities, the State of Mississippi, and federal agencies as we continue our work to rebuild and renew areas affected by these destructive weather events. We support Governor Reeves’ request for a Major Disaster Declaration.
Thank you for your consideration of this request. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you need further assistance in this effort.
Roger F. Wicker, United States Senator
Cindy Hyde-Smith, United States Senator
Bennie G. Thompson, Member of Congress
Steven Palazzo, Member of Congress
Michael Guest, Member of Congress