One year after an historic tornado outbreak swept through Mississippi, counties and local communities continue to make tremendous progress towards recovery from those devastating storms.
Two systems moved through Mississippi last April, and The National Weather Service confirmed 37 tornadoes touched down in Mississippi on April 27, 2011, killing 37 people and injuring more than 160 others. In the aftermath of the storms, 40 counties were declared Federal Disaster Areas, authorizing the flow of government aid to citizens and communities.
"Last April, much of Mississippi experienced the destructive effects of severe storms and tornadoes. Families lost loved ones, and entire communities suffered extensive damage," Gov. Phil Bryant said. "While we pay tribute to what we endured, we can also reflect on how far we've come. Mississippians are continuing to rebuild and rise together."
"Now is also the time for all Mississippians to prepare for any other disaster that may strike. By being prepared at home and in our communities, we will save lives, need less assistance from the federal government and our citizens and communities will be back on their feet faster than ever before."
Since the storms, millions of dollars in federal grants and low-interest disaster loans have been distributed to local governments and residents:
Nearly $23 million in Public Assistance to help local governments recover and rebuild.
More than $21 million to survivors.
Nearly $11 million in grants.
Almost $10 million in low-interest disaster loans.
More than $7 million in Hazard Mitigation funds.
"We are pleased with the recovery progress our counties and local governments have made since last year's storms," said Mississippi Emergency Management Agency Director Robert Latham. "It is a challenging road to navigate, but our recovery experts at MEMA have worked hand-in-hand with the counties, cities and towns to help them through these challenges. More than half of obligated Public Assistance funds have been paid to local governments, and communities and families are coming back stronger every day."