Board, Mayor to give United Way up to $5,000 in flood relief

Published 7:56 pm Thursday, March 21, 2019

United Way of West Central Mississippi is getting some financial help from the city of Vicksburg to assist flood victims.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen at a special called meeting Thursday afternoon approved a resolution to give United Way up to $5,000 to help with flood relief.

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“I just believe that it’s incumbent on this city as leaders to be a part of this (relief),” Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said. “In my mind we should do something. I don’t know of anybody in this community that could provide this kind of leadership and help others in this and that is United Way of West Central Mississippi.”

If the city can spend $227,000 to help keep the Vicksburg National Military Park open, he said, it can make a commitment to help people affected by the flood.

Taking donations

“United Way of West Central Mississippi is appreciative of the support the city has given us,” executive director Michele Connelly said.

She said United Way is working with the Red Cross and Warren County Emergency Management to provide assistance to flood victims.

“This is the time we should all be working together to ensure we are providing the services that are needed,” Connelly said. She said United Way is taking phone calls from flood victims and getting the names to the right agencies for help, and is presently collecting cleaning supplies and gift cards.

“But there are still unmet needs, and the money will definitely be of assistance,” she said, “Because after the Red Cross leaves and MEMA support leaves and the FEMA support leaves, it’s us, and this is not going to be fixed quickly.”

Flood meeting tonight

The board’s decision is one of several activities involving the flood.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District will host a public meeting regarding flooding at Eagle Lake, Friday at 6 p.m. at the district’s headquarters, 4155 East Clay St.

District engineers will provide an overview of current and forecasted conditions in the Steele Bayou sump and discuss the implications of these conditions on Eagle Lake. At this time, no decision has been made to fill the lake further through the Muddy Bayou Control Structure, according to a release by the District.

Temporary housing available

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency has announced people forced to leave their homes because of the flood can begin applying Friday for MEMA’s temporary housing assistance program, which helps people who are displaced from their homes for at least three days.

Applications are available in Grenada, Lee, Lowndes, Warren and Yazoo counties.

Besides flooding, strong winds, tornadoes and heavy rain swept through parts of Mississippi damaging homes on Feb. 23-24.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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