People affected by Hurricane Isaac’s flooding can begin to apply for federal and state aid now that two disaster recovery centers have opened in the county.
A center is located at the National Guard Armory in Picayune, 1251 B. U.S. Highway 11 South, and in Poplarville at the Baker Maid Building, 403 S. Main St.
Two areas in Picayune were hit the hardest. Homes in Westchester and homes on the east side of town near East Canal were most affected, said Fire Chief Keith Brown. An exact number of flooded homes is still being compiled.
Residents displaced from their homes can apply for temporary housing similar to what was offered after Hurricane Katrina. The major difference is this program will not use travel trailers such as those used after the 2005 storm. This time FEMA has lined up HUD manufactured housing, said FEMA Administrator W. Craig Fugate. Those types of homes still will need to be placed in an approved zone within the city, such as in a mobile home park.
There is anticipation residents will ask for permission to park the temporary housing in front of their flood-damaged homes so they can conduct repairs easier, Sen. Angela Hill said. Fugate said the city’s administration has to decide whether to allow temporary housing to be parked front of a damaged home. No matter where the temporary housing is located, it will be available only for 18 months.
Many people will be applying for aid and filing insurance claims to try to recoup what was lost in the floodwaters. Fugate said FEMA will handle each case on a case by case basis, but for the most part those with the most need, the unemployed and uninsured, will qualify for grants. Affected residents who have a job and bought insurance most likely will receive a Small Business Administration loan packet instead of a grant to cover what was not insured. Fugate expressed concern that most people who receive the packet will immediately throw it away thinking they cannot afford the low interest loan.
However, if the packet is not filled out and submitted, those residents will not have access to any other federal or state aid, Fugate said. He did not elaborate on what other types of aid may be available. He did say that any uninsured losses could be written off on tax returns, even prior to the end of the tax year.
However, “Our program will not make people whole,” Fugate said.
MEMA has announced that the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program can be applied for by residents affected by the storm or floodwaters. Applications can be submitted to the Department of Human Services office in Millard at 153 Savannah Millard Rd., Suite C.
Pearl River County and both municipalities also can apply for reimbursement of storm related expenses. If local governmental agencies provide proper documentation of the expenses incurred, they could be reimbursed within 30 to 60 days.
Fugate said he was visiting the area so he could get a view of how programs work from ground level, instead of from Washington D.C. Viewing how the programs work from the affected area allows him to see what works and what doesn’t. His plan is to have this event sorted out as soon as possible since hurricane season is far from over. “We’re in the peak of hurricane season,” Fugate said.
- Local News
Wildcats tring to win Region 23 title
Host Pearl River opened Region 23 Tournament play in dominating fashion here Thursday in Wildcat Stadium, demolishing top-seeded East Central 12-1 in eight innings and now faces second-seeded LSU-Eunice (La.) in Friday’s second round at 7 p.m.
Veterans honored for Armed Forces Day
In observance of United States Armed Forces Day, Picayune Memorial High School hosted the annual Jerry “Chip” Burge Jr. Memorial Armed Forces Reception on Friday.
Katrina taught Poplarville valuable lessons
The Pop-larville area learned valuable lessons in disaster readiness from hurricane Katrina in 2005, and those lessons led to improvements which provide a greater measure of security for local residents.
Help senior citizens in your family or neighborhood with advance planning
According to the United States Census Bureau, 15.1 percent of the population in Pearl River County is 65 years old or older.
Tchnology can speed emergency response
Recent national tragedies have reminded us once again how important it is to stay in touch with loved ones and emergency response officials for breaking news. Being technology-ready before disaster strikes is critical to saving lives, connecting friends and family, and assisting first responders.
Boil water notice lifted
Center Water has lifted a “boil water notice” for customers living on Hilltop Dr. and Green Meadow Drive.
Water tests indicate that water is safe to drink.
Click it or ticket: Cop's watching you
Memorial Day weekend is right around the corner and the Picayune Police Department’s patrol officers will be on the look out for seat belt violations.
Miss. seniors get another shot to pass grad tests
Mississippi officials are trying to retest hundreds of high school seniors who flunked exams that are required for graduation.
Panther pitcher shuts out Maroon Tide
Pascagoula’s Andrew Crane continued his dominance of Picayune Thursday night.
Miss Mississippi USA visits Infinity Center
The reigning Miss Mississippi USA Paromita Mitra visited INFINITY Science Center on Thursday to promote the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (S.T.E.M.) education to middle school students and Cub Scout Pack 213 from Biloxi.
- More Local News Headlines
- Wildcats tring to win Region 23 title