President Obama Signs Mississippi Disaster Declaration

President Obama declared a major disaster in the state of Mississippi and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area that was struck by flooding beginning on May 3, 2011, and which continues to this day. The area includes tourism facilities, including hotels and casinos impacted by the record flooding. Other areas in Louisiana—including the Delta region and New Orleans—are expected to be affected by the floods as well.

The President's action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in Adams, Bolivar, Claiborne, Coahoma, DeSoto, Humphreys, Issaquena, Jefferson, Sharkey, Tunica, Warren, Washington, Wilkinson and Yazoo counties, the White House said.

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster. Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

W. Craig Fugate, administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Terry L. Quarles as the federal coordinating officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area.

FEMA said that damage surveys are continuing in other areas and that more counties and additional forms of assistance may be designated after the assessments are fully completed.

FEMA said that residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance tomorrow by registering online at or by calling 800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.