Gov. Bryant addresses severe weather in Mississippi

PEARL, Miss. (WJTV) – Governor Phil Bryant addressed the recent severe weather events Monday morning at the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.

Governor Bryant declared the state of Mississippi in a state of emergency since December 23, 2015.

A total of 14 tornadoes made landfall in Northern Mississippi.

Governor Bryant says state and federal agencies are assessing the damage from the storm system.

“Immediately after the storm, of course, search and rescue efforts began. Some 35 state personnel, over a 100 state and local law enforcement and first responders began to search and rescue which lasted until Saturday, December 26, when the last two victims were found,” Governor Bryant said.

Governor Bryant states about 233 homes received major damage or have been destroyed.

The state has requested the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Preliminary Damage Assessment Team to assess the damage in the affected areas.

“We expect them to be in the affected areas in North Mississippi’s seven counties by noon today,” Governor Bryant said.

Governor Bryant says early reports by the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency may yield individual and public assistance.

“If that does occur then I will be requesting to the President of the United States to issue a Presidential Disaster Declaration,” Governor Bryant said.

That declaration will afford federal resources for individual assistance in Benton, Coahoma, Marshall, Quitman, and Tippah counties and public assistance to Benton, Marshall and Tippah Counties.

MEMA and other agencies are currently monitoring the river levels. The recent severe weather has made an impact on some areas.

“”This has actually produced some rises that are actually  going to take the river up to a very critical areas. Another thing that we are looking at is well this is the earliest we’ve seen a flood on the Mississippi river  for this high, this is probably for the record for this time of the year,” Marty Pope, the state of Mississippi Hydrologist with the US Weather Service, said.

Governor Bryant plans to travel to the affected areas on Tuesday, December 29 to meet with FEMA and view the damaged areas.

To help those in the affected areas, visit MEMA’s Disaster Recovery by clicking here.

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