Wilkinson County residents get aid

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, May 21, 2008

WOODVILLE — Approximately 100 people have made their way into the temporary Federal Emergency Management Agency Disaster Recovery center in Woodville, a Wilkinson County official said.

The FEMA recovery center, located at the Wilkinson County Industrial Complex, 1495 U.S. 61 South, has been open since May 13.

The Mobile Disaster Recovery Center was deployed after President George W. Bush declared Wilkinson, Washington, Warren and Bolivar counties federal disaster areas May 8 due to the significant flooding they experienced in the wake of near-record high water in the Mississippi River.

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In Wilkinson County, 147 homes were affected by the high water, either by restricting access or by physical damage, and of those, 25 homes and four mobile homes were destroyed.

Emergency management officials are waiting for the waters to recede further before making their final damage assessment, Tolliver said.

“With the situation as it is, you have a lot of people you have to boat in and out,” Tolliver said.

Before residents go to the recovery center, they should first go online at www.fema.gov or call 1-800-621-FEMA, Wilkinson County Emergency Management Director Thomas Tolliver said.

“When they do that, they will have to get a number, and after they get their number they would report to the disaster recovery center,” Tolliver said.

Once individuals report to the center, they can meet with representatives from the U.S. Small Business Administration, who will be on hand to discuss the administration’s low-interest disaster loan program.

The loans granted by the administration are for rebuilding or replacement efforts for damaged property or real estate for homeowners, renters, businesses and private non-profit agencies.