Recovery Ahead for Mississippi

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Mike Dill of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency outlined for Lauderdale County supervisors some of the specifics local people will deal with in accessing assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

"First thing that's going to be asked is whether or not the property owner has insurance. That puts them in a different category for benefits," said Dill. "And then sometimes underinsured can qualify. Not insured is virtually a given for payment, but there are categories, all different types of steps, that have to be met in the process."

County engineer Neal Carson also gave a report to supervisors.

"That was probably the worst storm and damage we've ever received in this county, based on the number of trees that have fallen, power lines knocked out and so forth," Carson said.

"Fortunately, we've found some sites to remove this debris to at no cost to the county and that's where we'll be hauling it," said the engineer. "My estimate is we'll probably be doing this for the next three to four weeks."

At the request of FEMA director Clarence Butler, the supervisors voted to extend the state of emergency declaration for seven days, the maximum permitted by federal law.

Meanwhile, people in Lauderdale and Clarke Counties whose homes or businesses were damaged by Hurricane Ivan may call 1-800-621 FEMA to begin the relief application process.