The Mississippi congressional delegation is asking the Trump administration to declare a major federal disaster in the state, backing up Gov. Phil Bryant’s recent request.
In addition to the relatively rare tornado that struck Raymond Monday, an April 18 rash of twisters numbered 43 across the state, an amount equal to the entire season’s averages in most years from 1991 to 2010, the National Weather Service reports. The annual tornado total in the state this year is on track to exceed 100 storms, and may surpass the previous record of 109 set in 2008.
All of those storms are in addition to the record-breaking flooding of the Mississippi River, raining devastation on the South Delta. That region is now in its fourth month of flooding that will probably last until some time in July.
In its letter to the president, the Mississippi lawmakers emphasized the needs of many in the state.
“We are determined to help Mississippi recover by supporting the local communities, the State of Mississippi, and federal agencies as we continue to work to rebuild and renew communities affected by these major weather events,” the delegation wrote.
Bryant declared a state of emergency on April 14; however, Mississippi’s senators and representatives emphasized that the state is not in a position to make everyone whole. They wrote that “resources from the state government, local governments, and volunteer organizations are not adequate to recover from these damages. Significant federal assistance and cooperation are required.”
“We appreciate the continued efforts of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and anticipate expeditious assistance from the agency in assisting state and local officials in Mississippi as they continue their hard work to estimate the severity of damages across our state from severe storms, straight-line winds, flooding and tornadoes.”