WASHINGTON – The Mississippi congressional delegation, which includes U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., and U.S. Representatives Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., Trent Kelly, R-Miss., and Michael Guest, R-Miss., today sent a letter to President Donald J. Trump requesting full consideration of Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant’s request for a major federal disaster declaration in the wake of devastation from straight-line winds and flooding caused by Tropical Storm Olga in October. If approved, the disaster declaration would unlock additional federal resources to supplement state recovery efforts.
The delegation’s letter referenced damage reports indicating at least 154,000 power outages, 772 lost or damaged homes, 26 affected businesses, 27 destroyed or damaged roads, other public property damages, and one fatality from these events. The Governor’s request covers 16 counties, including Alcorn, Covington, Itawamba, Jasper, Jefferson Davis, Leake, Lee, Marion, Neshoba, Newton, Pontotoc, Prentiss, Scott, Simpson, Smith, and Tippah, as well as hazard mitigation assistance statewide.
The full text of the delegation’s letter is below:
Dear President Trump,
In the wake of Tropical Storm Olga causing devastation across the State of Mississippi, we request your full consideration of Governor Phil Bryant's request for a Major Disaster Declaration under the Stafford Act.
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 help these communities recover from straight-line winds and flooding caused by Tropical Storm Olga.
As Governor Bryant indicated in his request, the Joint Public Assistance damage assessments conducted by the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), FEMA, and other agencies showed at least 154,000 power outages, 772 lost or damaged homes, 26 affected businesses, 27 destroyed or damaged roads, other public property damages, and one fatality from these events.
On November 12, 2019, Governor Phil Bryant declared a State of Emergency in Mississippi to begin rebuilding. However, resources from the state government, local governments, and volunteer organizations are not adequate to recover from these damages. All 16 counties included in the request, as well as the State of Mississippi, have met the per capita indicator threshold, and significant federal assistance and cooperation are required. This is especially true given the multiple other state and federally-declared disasters that have affected Mississippi over the past 12 months.
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 areas affected by these major weather events. We therefore reemphasize our support of Governor Bryant’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration.
Thank you for your consideration of this request. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you need further assistance in this effort.
Roger F. Wicker, United States Senator
Cindy Hyde-Smith, United States Senator
Bennie G. Thompson, Member of Congress
Steven Palazzo, Member of Congress
Trent Kelly, Member of Congress
Michael Guest, Member of Congress