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Hurricane Zeta left behind more than 32,000 damaged homes in Mississippi

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Hurricane Zeta may not have been the most powerful storm to hit the Gulf Coast in 2020, but it left plenty of wreckage in its wake.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency is continuing to work with local county EMA directors to assess the damage. As of Thursday, Nov. 6, counties are reporting 32,071 homes in 10 counties have been damaged or affected by Hurricane Zeta along with businesses, farms, roads and public buildings.

MEMA is encouraging residents NOT TO BURN DEBRIS, but instead, sort it according to Federal Emergency Management Agency standards. (See below. Debris counting and weighing are critical in applying for federal assistance.) Currently, MEMA is working on damage assessments, and FEMA has been requested to conduct joint damage assessments of the impacted areas.

The following damage reports are preliminary. MEMA is working to validate these numbers. Throughout the validation process, numbers can increase or decrease based on MEMA assessments:

Jackson:

  • Total Homes Affected: 2,535
  • Total Businesses/Farms Affected: 20
  • Total Public Roads/Buildings Affected: 69

Harrison

  • Total Homes Affected: 26,838
  • Total Businesses/Farms Affected: 212
  • Total Public Roads/Buildings Affected: 928

Hancock

  • Total Homes Affected: 993
  • Total Businesses/Farms Affected: 35

Forrest

  • Total Homes Affected: 22
  • Total Businesses/Farms Affected: 1

George

  • Total Homes Affected: 990
  • Total Businesses/Farms Affected: 20
  • Total Public Roads/Buildings Affected: 6

Greene

  • Total Homes Affected: 408
  • Total Businesses/Farms Affected: 4

Pearl River:

  • Total Homes Affected: 30

Perry

  • Total Homes Affected: 44
  • Total Public Roads/Buildings Affected: 6

Stone

  • Total Homes Affected: 161
  • Total Businesses/Farms Affected: 4
  • Total Public Roads/Buildings Affected: 2

Wayne

  • Total Homes Affected: 50
  • Total Businesses/Farms Affected: 2
  • Total Public Roads/Buildings Affected: 2

Before home repairs and reconstruction begins, permits must be obtained for communities that participate in the National Flood Insurance Program. The local floodplain administrator must assess the damage of the property inside the special flood hazard area. After the assessment has been completed, the permit official will notify the property owner of the results and what requirements they will need to meet during repairs.

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News

Warren County had a 71% turnout on election day – election results

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(Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash)

With all the votes now counted in Warren County, the results are quite different from those on Election Day.

When 4,689 absentee and affidavit ballots were added to the preliminary machine totals available on the evening of Nov. 3, the county switched from a Republican victory to a Democratic one.

The results also show record-breaking numbers. Of the 29,782 registered voters in Warren County, 21,170 cast ballots in the election for a whopping 71% turnout.

“It’s amazingly good,” said Sara Dionne, chair of the county’s election commission, of the turnout. In comparison, 63% of voters turned out in 2016 and 57% in 2012.

The numbers of absentee ballots set another record, more than doubling the number cast in 2016. Of 4,133 absentee ballots received in the county, 4,106 were accepted. In 2016, absentee ballots totaled 1,792.

This year, in every national race, Democrats won in Warren County.

In the race for U.S. House in District 2, incumbent Bennie Thompson, the Democratic incumbent, beat Republican challenger Brian Flowers 10,396 to 10,280. He remains the lone Democrat in Mississippi’s congressional delegation.

For the U.S. Senate seat, Democratic challenger Mike Espy won over Republican incumbent Cindy Hyde-Smith 10,853 to 9,912.

In the presidential race, the Democratic ticket of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won over the incumbent GOP slate of President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence 10,442 to 10,365.

Among the seven other challengers for the office of the presidency, no one garnered even 100 votes. The closest candidate was Libertarian Jo Jorgensen, who eked out 93 votes. Rapper Kanye West got 46. A total of 246 votes were cast for the seven third-party candidates.

The county tally has been sent to the secretary of state’s office for final certification.

See the final vote tally for Warren County (PDF).

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Business

Vicksburg Chamber of Commerce graduates first Entrepreneur Bootcamp class

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Participants in the first class of the Vicksburg Entrepreneur Bootcamp graduated from the program the night of Nov. 10 at the Hinds Community College Campus.

For six weeks, 12 participants who are working to start or grow their small businesses learned about entrepreneurship as well as topics such as legal, finance, accounting, marketing and other essential components associated with starting and running a successful business.

The program included speakers from different industries that support small businesses as well as the presence of a business coach from Hinds Community College. Participants used the support system and resources afforded by the bootcamp to develop a business plan, which they can submit to compete for a seed grant of $1,000 to help them with the cost of opening or improving their recently opened small business. Participants competing for the seed grant will submit their plans on or before Dec. 8. They will also present the plan in front of a committee for review and ranking. The entrepreneur who develops the best and most feasible business plan will receive the $1,000 seed grant.

The Vicksburg Entrepreneur Bootcamp seed grant is sponsored by the Vicksburg Chamber of Commerce, the City of Vicksburg, Hinds Community College, BancorpSouth, Mutual Credit Union, Home Bank, River Hills Bank, Regions, Guaranty Bank and Trustmark.

By proclamation of Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, Nov. 16 through 22 is Mississippi’s Global Entrepreneurship Week. See the proclamation below.

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COVID-19

Reeves puts seven more counties under mask mandates

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Gov. Tate Reeves providing a COVID-19 update from home Nov. 12 (image from video screen capture)

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves announced Monday that seven additional counties have qualified to be under more restrictive conditions due to rising COVID-19 cases.

The conditions, listed under his “Safe Recovery” executive order in effect through Dec. 11, include wearing masks in almost all public places.

Counties added to the list Monday are Hinds, Madison, Pontotoc, Tate, Winston, Itawamba and Montgomery. Added to the 15 counties already under more restrictive conditions, Mississippi now has 22 of its 82 counties included in the executive order.

“Let’s keep fighting COVID. Let’s protect ourselves and protect our neighbors,” Reeves said in a statement. “Let’s also keep praying. I believe if we work together, we can make a difference. We can slow the spread and bridge the gap between now and when this vaccine becomes readily available and protect the integrity of our health care system.”

The seven-day average of new cases in Mississippi is currently over 1,000. The state is part of a nationwide surge that is averaging more than 150,000 new cases daily from coast to coast.

Two vaccines have recently shown great promise in early testing. Neither is expected to be available to the general public until the spring of 2021.

The governor and his family are self-isolating after his youngest daughter tested positive for the virus.

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