HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - As clean-up from Sunday night's devastating tornado continues in the Pine Belt, there's new relief for Forrest and Lamar county residents who suffered damages from that storm.
Next week, Federal Emergency Management Agency officials will be in the area to take applications for financial assistance from individuals and businesses affected by the twister.
Wednesday night, the President declared Forrest and Lamar counties disaster areas, clearing the way for federal help. City officials hope to open a FEMA Disaster Recovery Center on Monday or Tuesday at the Ben McNair Center.
"Hopefully, the Small Business Administration will be available for those that have businesses to get loans, even maybe grants for those who need that," said Johnny Dupree, mayor of Hattiesburg. "For those who don't have insurance or are under-insured, there will be help for them. That was really very significant that we received that declaration yesterday." Dupree said.
Individuals and business owners who suffered losses can also apply right now online at www.disasterassistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA.