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Mississippi Requests Federal Money to Help After Tornadoes Damaged Rural Areas

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A home on W. Madison St. in Durant, MS that was damaged by the tornado
Mark Rigsby - MPB News

The state of Mississippi is requesting financial help from the federal government for areas affected by the tornado out break that hit the state April 30th. As MPB's Mark Rigsby reports, many homeowners who suffered property damage did not have insurance.

There's $5.5 million in tornado damage to homes in Montgomery and Holmes counties.
That's according to Lee Smithson, Director of the state Emergency Management Agency. He says he believes poor economic conditions and the high number of damaged homes without insurance coverage, will help get assistance approved. FEMA's maximum grant is $33,000.

"But that doesn't mean everyone who suffered damage is gonna get $33,000. It's to get their house, not repaired to the pre-storm condition. It's to make sure that home safe and habitable."

Durant resident Louise Sanders says the storm did about $3,000 worth of damage to her windows and roof at her home.

"I have house insurance."

"So, your insurance will cover that?"

"I don't know. I haven't heard from them yet."

The state is also asking for federal help for local governments in nine counties and non-profit utilities that were impacted. Money received would pay for disaster-related expenses like overtime and debris removal. Smithson says those damage assessment well exceeded the state's threshold of $4 million.