PRC leaders worry Federal Disaster Assistance may never come - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

PRC leaders worry Federal Disaster Assistance may never come

PEARL RIVER COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

The numbers continue to grow in Pearl River County as officials assess the Damage the Christmas day storms left behind.

Friday we learned that a maintenance shop at the county's correctional facility sustained major damage when Tuesday's twisters touched down.

Here's what we know so far.

27 homes and three apartments were destroyed by one of the Christmas Day tornadoes.

Six homes sustained major damage.

Twenty other homes have minor damage.

Meanwhile...Pearl River County officials say a Federal Disaster Declaration has yet to be declared..

And that has people worried across the county.

WLOX NEWS spoke with the County Administrator and storm victims who say they're still waiting for federal assistance.

Williabur Mitchell woke up Friday morning playing beat the clock.. He's trying to get a tarp on his roof before the rain comes.

"Putting the tarp up to make sure there is no further damage from the wind and the rain,"

said Williabur Mitchell.

A powerful tornado pushed a large tree onto his mobile home.

"The tree that was located behind our house the top of it came off and lodged itself into the bedroom wall taking it out," explained Mitchell.

Mitchell says he received help to cover the seven foot hole in his bedroom wall..

"I'm out here trying to work next thing you know next thing you know 8 people from Home Depot came and gave us a hand. The community has really stepped up to help their own."

Kresta Folse is one of those helpful community members. She happened to show up at the Mitchell's mobile home while we, WLOX, were there offering help.

"A shower laundry services whatever they need. I don't have a lot of money but just what I can do to help these people just to try to give back," said Folse.

"It just shows the resolve of the people in this community helping each other to try to get some order restored back," said County Administrator Adrian Lumpkin.

Lumpkin says the county is hopeful a federal declaration will be put in place.

"The longer it goes the less optimistic we're going to get a federal declaration but that doesn't mean the local officials, the supervisors are going to stop."

Just to look at the devastation it's hard to believe there isn't enough damage in Pearl River County for a federal disaster declaration, but Lumpkin says he's very concerned about that.

"FEMA has a formula where you have to have so much damage state-wide. The word we're hearing we don't know if we're going to have enough state-wide to get the declaration," explained Lumpkin.

But he says Pearl River County leaders will do everything they can to make it happen.

Lumpkin says power has been restored to most of the homes damaged in Pearl River County.. Obviously destroyed homes cannot be reconnected.

Copyright 2012 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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