Governor Haley Barbour announced 13 counties affected by historic flooding along the Mississippi and Yazoo Rivers this Spring are now eligible for all categories of public assistance reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Barbour said the declaration means local governments will be able to rebuild and recover what was lost in the devastating flooding.
Public assistance provides state and local governments and some private nonprofit agencies reimbursement grants of 75 percent of the eligible costs for the following: debris removal, emergency protective measures, repairs to roads and bridges, repair of public-owned buildings, water control facilities, public-utility systems, parks and recreational facilities.
The counties included in the flood declaration are Adams, Bolivar, Claiborne, Coahoma, Humphreys, Issaquena, Jefferson, Sharkey, Tunica, Warren, Washington, Wilkinson and Yazoo Counties.
The Mississippi River had risen to its all-time highest water levels ever at Vicksburg of 57.10 feet and at Natchez of 61.90 feet on May 19th and its second highest water level on record at Greenville of 64.20 feet on May 16th.
This year’s flooding tested the limits of Mississippi’s $13 billion levee system as the river rose to levels not seen since the 1920s in some places.
Seventeen out of the 19 casinos along the Mississippi River were forced to close as the river rose.
The area from Vicksburg northeast to Yazoo City, along the Yazoo River, experienced some of the worst flooding in Mississippi, where dozens of homes and structures took on water with several roads closing and underwater.
Backwater from the Mississippi River, pushed the Yazoo River to its second highest water levels on record near Yazoo City of 38.70 feet, 4.3 feet shy of its all-time historic 1927 record of 43 feet.
One death was attributed to the historic flooding in the Vicksburg area, where about 200 homes flooded with more inundated in surrounding Warren County and other low spots on the unprotected side of the levees.
The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency said nearly 5,000 people were displaced in Mississippi due to the historic flooding, with more than 2,000 of those residents in the Vicksburg area alone.
More than half of Mississippi was under disaster declarations including 14 counties along the Mississippi River and its tributaries.
Nearly $16 million in aid has already been provided to Mississippians affected by the tornadoes and severe storms in April.