No total yet on storm damage

Published 5:00 am Monday, April 14, 2003

Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) officials werereturning to Lincoln County Monday to continue a damage assessmentsurvey following last Sunday’s tornado that struck the Loyd Starcommunity.

MEMA officials observed damage to homes and businesses Friday,said Lincoln County Civil Defense Director Clifford Galey.

“I don’t have a dollar figure on damage for the general public,”Galey said Monday. “They’re coming today to do an assessment on thecounty’s damage.”

Compiled data from Lincoln County and others affected by theApril 6 storm will be used to determine if the state meets criteriafor a federal disaster declaration.

“I have been briefed on the outcome of the joint preliminarydamage assessments and will make a recommendation to Gov. Musgrovefor federal assistance on Monday,” said MEMA Director RobertLatham, who visited Lincoln County last Monday to look at damage.”We intend to submit our official request for assistance to federalofficials by Monday afternoon.”

Galey expected the review of damage to county infrastructure,such as roads and bridges, to be completed today.

“Hopefully, by the end of this day or early tomorrow, I can havesome dollar estimate they’re going by,” Galey said.

Galey was unsure if the damage totals would be enough to warranta federal disaster declaration. To be eligible for federal help,the statewide damage total must top $3 million on uninsuredproperties.

State insurance officials on Friday estimated the storm causedat least $20 million in damage, with that total expected to rise.Many of the claims to insurance companies were from Lincoln andCopiah counties, which felt the brunt of the category F-2tornado.

Galey said insured properties would be subtracted from data usedfor the federal disaster declaration consideration.

In other storm-related activity, Galey said the emergencyoperations center at the Loyd Star Volunteer Fire Department wasshut down Saturday around 5 p.m. The EOC was relocated to the CivilDefense office on East Chippewa Street.

“Anybody who needs anything now needs to call or come by myoffice here,” Galey said.