Five Mississippi counties hit hard by late December storms and tornadoes are eligible for federal disaster aid.
The White House said Monday that President Barack Obama declared a major disaster in the state, making funds available to people and businesses in Benton, Coahoma, Marshall, Quitman and Tippah counties.
The declaration covers areas affected by severe weather between Dec. 23 and Dec. 28. Eleven deaths were attributed to the storms.
Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs and low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses.
Gov. Phil Bryant formally requested the disaster declaration last week.
In Benton, Marshall and Tippah, federal funding also is available to state, tribal, and local governments and some nonprofit organizations for emergency work and repair or replacement of facilities.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency said additional disaster designations may be made later if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.
Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can now apply for assistance. In addition to the aid available in the counties listed in the disaster designation, the White House news release said that federal cost-share funding is available for hazard mitigation efforts statewide.
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