FEMA teams inspecting county infrastructure

Published 1:35 pm Thursday, October 3, 2019

Members of a Federal Emergency Management Agency inspection team were in Warren County Thursday to perform a site inspection of the county’s infrastructure to determine which areas will qualify for federal aid.

Warren County is one of the counties included in a disaster declaration signed by President Trump in September, qualifying the county to receive public assistance to repair roads and other infrastructure damaged by almost six months of backwater flooding.

Warren County Emergency Management director John Elfer said the team’s tour Thursday involved the northern part of Warren County around Eagle Lake area.

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“Among the roads, they’ll be looking at are Eagle Lake Shore Road, Shell Beach Road, Muddy Bayou Road and Floweree Road,” Elfer said. “They’ll be taking measurements and photographs and get GPS coordinates at each damage location.”

He said the team also has a mitigation agent who will look for areas of damage that could receive funding for improvements to prevent future problems and provide better protection.

After the information is collected, Elfer said, it will be taken to the MEMA/FEMA joint field office in Ridgeland, where it will be compiled. After that, an assessment report will be prepared to begin the requests for assistance.

The report and supporting documents are sent to a consolidated resource center, where the grant is written and developed. Elfer’s office will get a copy of the report.

Eagle Lake and other communities in the Yazoo Backwater Area were affected by severe flooding in February that inundated roads and more than 500,000 acres of farmland.

Eagle Lake residents were forced to leave their homes in early March when water from the Yazoo Backwater Area began overtopping streets in the community and getting into homes.

The extreme flooding forced the Warren County Board of Supervisors to issue a mandatory evacuation of the community on March 8 as flooding in the backwater area increased, eventually exceeding 97 feet and inundating the Eagle Lake community.

Sept. 21, President Trump declared Warren and seven other Mississippi counties affected by storms, flooding and tornadoes disaster areas, clearing the way for property owners to apply for federal aid.

People wanting to register for assistance online can go to disasterassistance.gov or call 800-462-7585. People can also register in person between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. at the FEMA disaster assistance site in the former Tanner Jewelers store in the mall near the main entrance of the Vicksburg Mall.

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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