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Warren among 11 Mississippi counties eligible for federal disaster funds for February storm damage



County Engineer Keith O'Keefe presented his findings on the county's roads to the Board of Supervisors earlier this month.

On Friday, the federal government declared Mississippi a major disaster area in regard to storm damages that occurred in February of this year. The declaration, signed by President Donald J. Trump, frees up federal funding to repair damages caused by the storms.

Warren County identified 47 road sites that were impacted by the February storms. County Engineer Keith O’Keefe presented the Board of Supervisors with a detailed assessment of damages along with plans for proposed repairs several weeks ago along with a total estimated repair cost of about $10 million. Most of the repairs are being done by county road crews at a cost of about $6.6 million, and many could now qualify for federal disaster relief funding.

O’Keefe identified five of the 47 sites as large projects that have qualified for Federal Highway Administration funding because the roads connect at some point to a state highway. That funding is separate from the disaster relief funding. Collectively, repairs to the five sites are estimated at $3.4 million, and they will be bid out instead of completed by the county. Those projects include Redwood Road, which will be the biggest undertaking. Redwood’s roadbed sank and shifted causing a portion of the road to be closed. The other sites are Ballground Road, Flowers Hill Road, Oak Ridge Road and Tiffentown Road.

“The federal declaration for Mississippi’s counties impacted by the February 10th through 18th storms means those counties, including Warren, are eligible for federal reimbursements through federal agencies,” O’Keefe said Friday.

The White House released the following statement yesterday:

Today, President Donald J. Trump declared that a major disaster exists in the State of Mississippi and ordered Federal assistance to supplement State, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by severe storms, flooding, and mudslides from Feb. 10 to Feb. 18, 2020.

Federal funding is available to State, tribal, and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the severe storms, flooding, and mudslides in the counties of Attala, Carroll, Claiborne, Clay, Copiah, Grenada, Hinds, Holmes, Leflore, Warren and Yazoo.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

Pete Gaynor, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Terry L. Quarles as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected areas.

Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the State and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.

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