USDA to invest $84 million to help communities i 13 states recover from natural disasters

USDA to invest $84 million to help communities i 13 states recover from natural disasters

JACKSON, MS (WDAM) - USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will invest an additional $84 million through the Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP) to help disaster recovery efforts through more than 150 projects in 13 states, including Mississippi.

"EWP helps communities, including those here in Mississippi, perform much needed recovery projects to address damage to watersheds from floods, hurricanes and other natural disasters," said Kurt Readus, NRCS State Conservationist in Mississippi. "USDA is committed to helping repair and rebuild rural communities."

EWP provides critical resources to local sponsors to help communities eliminate imminent hazards to life and property caused by floods, fires, wind­storms and other natural occurrences. EWP is an emergency recovery program.

The funds support a variety of recovery projects, including clearing debris-clogged waterways, stabilizing stream banks, fixing jeopardized water control structures and stabilizing soils after wildfires.

In Mississippi, EWP projects will help areas throughout the state that were affected by the 2014 tornadoes. These storms caused $16 million in damages, clogging streams and threatening homes, roads and other infrastructure. The funded projects will help stabilize roads, protect utilities, restore streams, remove debris and prevent future flooding.

"NRCS is proud to be able to provide this financial assistance to help protect our natural resources and provide assistance to our units of government affected by the storms," stated Readus.

EWP work must be sponsored by a public agency of the state, tribal, county or city government. NRCS provides 75 percent of the funds for the project; the public organization pays the remaining 25 percent. EWP allows NRCS to put its engineering expertise to work in a variety of places – both rural and urban.

For more information on NRCS programs, visit or a local USDA service center.