With water going down, cleanup is next Meeting Tuesday to discuss how to return, reconnect, get help

Published 12:01 am Sunday, May 22, 2011

A communit-wide public information meeting to discuss the recovery phase of the 2011 Mississippi River flood will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Vicksburg City Auditorium, 901 Monroe St.

Vicksburg city officials, Vicksburg Police Department, Warren County Board of Supervisors, Warren County Emergency Management, Warren County Sheriff’s Office, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Small Business Administration and charitable organizations will be available to answer questions and offer information.

Officials will provide the public with available assistance from each of the aforementioned agencies.

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Flood victims will have an opportunity to register with FEMA at the meeting. The Corps also will have a booth for anyone with questions.

Call the city’s action line at 601-636-3411 for more information.

Home inspections

Residents will not be allowed to return to homes until FEMA gives local law enforcement the authority to allow people back in the flooded areas. Residents inside Vicksburg will not be allowed to move back into their homes until an assessment completed by inspectors from the city Building and Inspections department clears the home. Homeowners will be notified of the inspection results through FEMA. All displaced victims must register with FEMA to receive this information. All homeowners are responsible for own cleanup.

In Warren County, all buildings in need of reconstruction worth more than $500 must obtain a building permit — in line with current regulations.


Warren County residents must have wiring in flooded homes checked for potential hazards and approved by a qualified electrician to have electricity reconnected.

Entergy customers may call 1-800-ENTERGY for customer service and emergencies. Questions may be submitted via the website. Yazoo Valley’s office may be reached at 662-746-4251 or e-mail. Twin County may be reached at 662-827-2262 and 662-827-2832 via fax.

Garbage pickup

The level of water on the ground will determine when garbage pickup for city residents will resume. Call the city’s action line at 601-636-3411 for more information.

Law enforcement

The Warren County Sheriff’s Department and the Vicksburg Police Department will continue to man designated posts and patrol flood areas until further notice from FEMA.

Tips from FEMA

• Keep power off until electrician has inspected the system.

• If you hear hissing or smell gas, leave immediately and call the gas company. Using your home phone or cell phone inside the house could spark an explosion.

• If sewer and water lines are damaged, don’t use the toilets or sinks. Call a plumber. Until told water supply is safe, boil water for 5 minutes before drinking it or preparing for food.

• Throw away water-damaged foods including canned goods.


The National Flood Insurance Program, which is administered by FEMA, offers a guide on how to file a claim with the insurance companies. The guide is available on FEMA website.

Filing an insurance claim:

• Contact insurance agent or company representative to report loss. Have the insurance

• Separate damaged property from undamaged property. Don’t throw anything away until an adjuster has seen it, unless local law requires it. Take photos of property.

• Make a list of damaged contents. List the quantity of each item, a description, brand name, where purchased, cost, model and serial number, as well an estimate of the loss. Attach bills, receipts, photos and other documents.

• List areas of structural damage.

Handling a claim

• Work with adjuster. An adjuster cannot approve or disapprove the claim or say whether the insurance company will approve it before the actual approval.

• Adjuster will take measurements and photographs and note flood damage in a process called “scoping” a loss.

• Adjuster will give an estimate of loss.

Filing a claim

• The official claim is called proof of loss. This document must be completed and signed and turned in to insurance company within 60 days. Keep copies of proof of loss and all supporting documents as records.

• Payment of claims is payable after an amount is agreed upon and after the insurer receives complete and accurate proof of loss.

FEMA applications

Individuals can apply for assistance with FEMA online or by phone.

Call 1-800-621-3362 or click here.

Application status and other information are available on the website.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers tips on removing mold from hard surfaces inside the home. Information is available on the CDC website.

Tips are offered for recognizing mold:

• Are the walls and ceiling discolored, or do they show signs of mold growth or water damage?

• Do you smell a bad odor, such as a musty, earthy smell or a foul stench?

To clean

• Use commercial products, soap and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water. Use a stiff brush on rough surface materials such as concrete.

• Flood safety tips from the Mississippi State Department of Health may be viewed here.

If you choose to use bleach to remove mold:

• Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners. Mixing bleach with ammonia or other cleaning products will produce dangerous, toxic fumes. Open windows and doors to provide fresh air. Wear non-porous gloves and protective eye wear. If the area to be cleaned is more than 10 square feet, consult the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guide titled Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings. A free copy is available by calling the EPA Indoor Air Quality Information Clearinghouse at (800) 438-4318, or by going to the EPA website.

Water wells

To disinfect private water wells:

• Calcium hypochlorite or sodium hypochlorite may be used to produce 5 gallons of solution, according to Mississippi Department of Health procedures.

Step-by-step instructions on each are available here.

Vicksburg phone numbers

• Action Line — 601-636-3411 for general questions and reports.

• Building and Inspections — 601-634-4528

• Water and Gas Administration — 601-634-4560

County phone numbers

• Board of Supervisors — 601-634-8073

• Emergency Management Agency and Building Permits — 601-636-1544

Salvation Army

• Donation center on 2011 Washington St., former Blackburn dealership

• For information on donations to flood victims, 769-220-2964

• Non-perishable foods and baby items accepted at the donation center; clothing items accepted at offices on Mission 66.