Warren added to state-of-emergency list

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 16, 2010

Gov. Haley Barbour has included Warren County in an expanded state of emergency initially declared after severe winter weather caused water problems in Jackson.

The declaration is geared to assist local governments with infrastructure issues left by the recent unseasonably cold weather. It now includes Carroll, Claiborne, Hinds, Lauderdale, Panola, Quitman, Tippah, Tunica, Warren and Wayne counties.

A release from Barbour’s office said Friday that below-freezing temperatures had caused substantial damage to water and road systems. A presidential declaration would have to be issued to make communities eligible for reimbursement of expenses for water system failures and employee overtime.

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In Vicksburg, breaks in three underground lines were reported to the state, as well as employee overtime in the Water Department, said city emergency management director Anna Booth. Warren County Emergency Management Director Gwen Coleman said independent water districts outside the city experienced only minor problems and escaped the brunt of the weather.

The state of emergency was initially issued Jan. 11 for Jackson. The city has been without water pressure for nearly a week.

In recent days, more communities had called on the state to provide assistance to local government, which prompted the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency to request lists of problems experienced by the cold snap.