Leg. Approves Disaster Funds

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The Mississippi House Wednesday passed legislation to provide money to make repairs at Mississippi University for Women and other facilities damaged in Sunday's storm. The bill now goes to the Senate.

The bill authorizes $10 million to match federal money that will come available for repairs at MUW and other damage elsewhere. Mississippi and federal officials are working to assess the damage from Sunday's storm.

"All we have to do is we have to work together to rebuild Columbus, Lowndes County, and Crawford," said Gov. Ronnie Musgrove. "And we are going to work and pull everyone together to that. That's why I am here."

Lawmakers say the damage on the campus of MUW was estimated at as much as $40 million. No federal disaster declaration will be made until state and federal officials complete their surveys and report to Washington, D.C. State Rep.

Jeff Smith of Columbus says another $10 million requested by the governor for the local school system was not needed. Smith says the school system's insurance is expected to cover 90 percent of the damage with funds from the federal government paying for the rest.

Among Columbus Municipal School District facilities, Stokes Beard Elementary School was demolished, and Columbus High School was damaged.