FEMA arrives in Mississippi to assist in storm damage assessment

LEAKESVILLE, MS (WDAM) - Damage assessment teams from  the Federal Emergency Management Agency arrived in Mississippi Monday to at the request of Governor Haley Barbour.

They will assist MEMA and local county officials in assessing the damage in Hinds, Kemper, and Greene County.  All thee received major damage from last Friday's tornados.

In order for the President to declare the three counties major disaster areas, it is necessary for FEMA to perform a preliminary disaster assessment and pass the reports on to the President.

"They've got to validate that we've got damage, all the damage that the local government and state say is out there," said Michael Womack, Executive Director for MEMA. "Then they make a recommendation to the president whether or not a federal declaration is needed. That's what they are doing here primarily, supporting those damage assessments."

Once the damage assessments are complete, the Governor will sign the request and it will be sent up the chain through FEMA and on to the white House.

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