Tunica Cutoff residents wonder if they will ever return home - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Tunica Cutoff residents wonder if they will ever return home

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(WMC-TV) - Evacuated residents of the Tunica Cutoff met with officials from FEMA Tuesday as they tried to determine when, if ever, they would be able to return home.

"The not knowing, it drives you crazy," Cutoff resident Leslie Hernandez said.

The Tunica Cutoff is currently underwater, due to the swelled level of the Mississippi River, and residents have no access to their property.

"I can't handle that I can't see my home," Hernandez said. "I can't see where the damage is. I'm only hearing that it's a foot in my house, or two feet in my house."

FEMA representative Michael Skeels said Tuesday that Tunica County has been added to a federal disaster declaration that is waiting for the approval of President Barack Obama.

"That's when the funds are made available and we're authorized to spend. We're not authorized to spend anything until its been signed," Skeels said.

Skeels added that the needs of the residents have been heard.

"These people are hurting," he said. "They are here in shelters and we need to get them help as soon as humanly possible."

Hernandez said the meeting was helpful and calmed some of her worries. She feared the community was going to be permanently condemned.

"If they don't condemn, that's my primary home, and with FEMA assistance, I'm going back," Hernandez said.

But until then, residents will have to wait for water to recede, and for the funds to come.

To register with FEMA, go to www.disasterassistance.gov or call 1-800-621-FEMA.

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