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Floods persist in Quitman County; MEMA assessing the damage

So far, MEMA reports 12 homes, 36 roads, and 1 business has been impacted in Quitman County
Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 4:58 PM CDT
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QUITMAN COUNTY, Miss. (WMC) - It’s been a week since heavy rains swept through four North Mississippi counties in our viewing area: Coahoma, Quitman, Panola, and Lafayette.

For many, the floods have gone as quickly as they came, but in Quitman County, water has been sticking around.

“The water has been like this every since I’ve been here,” said Marilyn Morgan.

Morgan was visiting her mother in Quitman County, arriving just before the rains started. She said the flooding came after the rains stopped.

“It’s because they’re pumping water from their wells,” she said. “I don’t know where, but it floods after the rain.”

Her mother’s driveway was completely underwater up until Thursday afternoon when we spoke with her.

According to MEMA director of external affairs, Malary White, over 600 homes across Mississippi have been impacted so far from last week’s downpour.

“There are three things that we’re looking at,” White began to describe, talking about damage assessments. “Is there enough [damage] to qualify for individual assistance? Is there enough damage for public assistance? Then, the other one is an SBA Declaration.”

White says MEMA and county EMA teams have ‘boots on the ground,’ comparing flood damage to FEMA guidelines.

FEMA Flood Damage Assessment
FEMA Flood Damage Assessment(FEMA/MSEMA)

White is directing all those who feel they may qualify for assistance to either reach out to their local EMA office or to submit their information on MEMA’s Self Report service.

“Show us your damage,” White said. “Choose the county that you live in, and put in the damage, and you can actually attach photos of what your damage looks like.”

Farther down Highway 6 in Quitman County, one home that was almost affected by last week’s rains was Freddie Cook’s on Cook Road.

“I was thinking ‘Oh God, thank you. I got a chance to stay here this time,” Cook said, thinking back to last week when the water was right at her door.

Folks like Cook and Morgan are no strangers to floods in Quitman County.

“I’ve got the furniture stacked on bricks and stuff like that,” Cook said, describing how she prepares for heavy rains. “Then, we get the coats in those tubs that you put clothes in. They are stacked all up on the wall. We just stay packed up because you never know when you’ve got to go.”

To try and ensure all those who need help receive help, White is asking impacted home and business owners to remain patient while they compile information.

“If we take our time on the front end and make sure that all of our information is correct now, we don’t have to go back and correct it when FEMA comes in,” White said. “It actually makes the process go a lot faster.”

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