State Legislature Provides Aid for Tornado Relief

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Meridian, Miss. It has been two weeks since tornadoes left their brutal mark and devastation all across Mississippi, but relief is continually flowing. Mississippi state Rep. Greg Snowden was on hand at the monthly Lauderdale County Council of Governments meting to discuss the recent special session held in Jackson. The session was for those affected by the April 28 tornadoes.

"The governor called the legislature in to special session last Thursday at 1 o'clock," said Snowden." I'm proud to say we finished our work in three hours and at the end of those three hours, we approved an appropriation of about $17 million. The money will be for disaster relief, to communities throughout the state that were hit by the tornadoes late last month."

The $17 million is set aside to aid counties that have been declared federal disaster areas by President Obama.

"The money will be used for debris removal primarily and also by local governments for preparedness and even reimbursement for things they did in advance of the storms," said Snowden. "Primarily, though, for debris removal."

There were a dozen counties in the state that received significant damage from the tornadoes and the money provided by the state is a way to alleviate the burden of recovering.

"Basically what we did as part of our legislative package, was to provide from the state level all of the money the localities would otherwise need to match the federal funds," said Snowden. "So the state has stepped in and picked up not only the state match, but the localities' match."

Twenty-three twisters touched down in Mississippi, damaging over 1200 homes, and 200 businesses, as well as injuring numerous victims and killing 14 people.