FEMA reviews funds poured into tornado relief efforts in DeSoto County

This comes after last month’s tornadoes ripped through parts of north Mississippi

MEMA officials survey DeSoto County storm damage

DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. (WMC) - On Tuesday, representatives on the local, state and federal levels assessed the damage in DeSoto County.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) officials were also crunching numbers, reviewing just how much money has been spent on clean up and relief efforts.

This comes after last month’s tornadoes ripped through parts of north Mississippi destroying neighborhoods near Hernando and Olive Branch.

DeSoto County residents waiting for federal assistance decision

Ultimately, to receive federal assistance, DeSoto County along with 24 other counties in the state need to reach a threshold of $4.5 million.

"Reimbursement for DeSoto County expenses associated with the storm up to 75 percent and then the county and the state would be responsible for the remaining 25 percent,” said Josh Harper with DeSoto County Emergency Services.

Harper says crews are only about a third of the way there. Receiving assistance would be extremely helpful in reimbursing county efforts.

“We're already in the millions of dollars on what the county alone has spent. That's not counting some of the cities that helped us with mutual aid,” said Harper.

Residents work to recover one week after storms, tornadoes

Tuesday afternoon, the first community-based recovery committee meeting took place. These organizations are going to be crucial in relief efforts moving forward.

"Who to assist. What time of assistance is needed and they're going to make those decisions jointly and they're going to be coordinating the long term recovery efforts moving forward,” said Harper.

The county has received preliminary approval for small business administration loans, which allows business owners and homeowners to apply for low-interest loans to make any additional repairs.

It could take a few weeks before officials find out if the county qualifies for federal assistance.

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