Wicker, Mississippi colleagues seek federal disaster declaration for home state

U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) and the entire Mississippi congressional delegation asked President Donald Trump to issue a federal disaster declaration for their home state.

Sen. Wicker and his colleagues sent a letter to the president requesting full consideration of Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant’s request for a major federal disaster declaration following disastrous mid-April weather and record flooding across the state.

“We are determined to help Mississippi recover by supporting the local communities, the State of Mississippi, and federal agencies as we continue to work to rebuild and renew communities affected by these major weather events,” wrote Sen. Wicker and his colleagues. They referenced preliminary damage reports showing at least 25,923 power outages, 389 lost or damaged homes, 45 affected businesses, 64 destroyed or damaged roads, four compromised bridges, four non-profit utilities, 21 injuries, and one fatality from these events.

While Gov. Bryant on April 14 declared a State of Emergency in Mississippi, Sen. Wicker and the lawmakers wrote that “resources from the state government, local governments, and volunteer organizations are not adequate to recover from these damages. Significant federal assistance and cooperation are required.”

“We appreciate the continued efforts of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and anticipate expeditious assistance from the agency in assisting state and local officials in Mississippi as they continue their hard work to estimate the severity of damages across our state from severe storms, straight-line winds, flooding and tornadoes,” wrote Sen. Wicker and his home-state colleagues.

Their request follows Trump’s April 23 approval of a separate emergency declaration for Mississippi, which in February and March was hit by severe weather that produced heavy rainfall, flooding and tornadoes.