Board of Supervisors approves disaster declaration following storm damage

Published 2:18 pm Monday, April 15, 2024

The Warren County Board of Supervisors during its regular meeting Monday approved a disaster declaration following last week’s storm, which left many residents dealing with significant damage to homes and other property.

Warren County Emergency Management Director John Elfer told supervisors 17 homes were damaged during the storm, with four completely destroyed. Following the meeting, Elfer said the declaration could go a long way toward helping with the cleanup effort county-wide.

“The reason we did a proclamation was to make it easier to get assistance from outside agencies, like MEMA (Mississippi Emergency Management Agency),” he said. “And if we had to do bids, then it would be a little bit easier to mitigate the storm damage and assist the public.”

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Elfer said, while bids normally must be received for all county work, a disaster declaration can help speed up the process.

“That would give us a little flexibility if we had to spend some money on something, we wouldn’t have to necessarily get the bids like we normally do,” he said.

Elfer said Warren County sustained damage across the board, including to homes and property, but also to power lines and to public areas due to erosion. He added that, because of the widespread damage done by the storm in other parts of the state, relief may also come from D.C.

“We had 17 homes that were damaged, and at least four were completely destroyed,” Elfer said. “I’ve talked to MEMA this morning and they may come do preliminary damage assessments. I don’t know that we’ll get a federal declaration; we might get one if they do all the counties. Scott County had 57 homes (damaged) and they had a fatality.”

Elfer said, while damage occurred across Vicksburg and Warren County, significantly impacted areas included Sherman Avenue, Dana Road, and North Washington Street, the latter being affected largely by erosion between the Klondyke Trading Post and U.S. Highway 61.

“There’s a good amount of erosion, which is pretty typical for that part of the city,” he said. “It’s just that type of soil we have. It was just a combination of both (city and county damage). A lot of times it tends to go way north or way south. This time it wasn’t one particular area that was worse than the other. We had damage all the way from Eagle Lake to Jeff Davis.”