Mississippi delegation urges President Biden to approve Mississippi’s request for disaster declaration after Hurricane Ida. 

The Mississippi congressional delegation, which includes U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., and U.S. Representatives Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., Trent Kelly, R-Miss., and Michael Guest, R-Miss., sent a letter to President Joseph R. Biden urging him to approve Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves’ request for a major disaster declaration for Hurricane Ida.

If approved, the disaster declaration would allow Mississippi to access additional federal resources to supplement state recovery efforts.

The delegation sent a letter to President Biden referencing the damage that was incurred specifically on Highway 26 in George County where three Mississippians were killed and 10 individuals injured.

There have also been reports of at least 1,600 homes and total estimates of $22.5 million in Emergency and Permanent Work costs across 19 counties that were approved for public assistance.

The full text of the delegation letter is below:

Dear President Biden,

In the wake of Hurricane Ida, which brought devastating weather events to the state of Mississippi, we request your full consideration of Governor Tate Reeves’ request for a Major Disaster Declaration under the Stafford Act. 

We appreciate the efforts of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to deploy rapidly to Mississippi to assist state and local officials in estimating the severity of damages across our state from heavy rainfall, severe power outages, flooding, and tornadoes.  We recognize that 36 counties and 35 cities have submitted damage reports or filed local emergency proclamations.

Hurricane Ida severely damaged sections of Highway 26, which led to a highway pile-up that killed three Mississippians and caused injuries to 10 individuals.  As Governor Reeves indicated in his request, an initial evaluation of the damages from Ida showed that at least 1,600 homes were damaged.  The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) assessed reports of 130,000 power outages, with thousands of families left without power for over one week and hundreds for up to two weeks.  Out of the 21 counties that requested public assistance, 19 met their threshold, with a total estimate of approximately $22.5 million in Emergency and Permanent Work costs. 

Resources from state and local governments and volunteer organizations are not adequate to help our state recover from these damages.  The effects of straight-line winds, severe storms, flooding, and tornadoes require significant federal funding and assistance.  We stand ready to face this challenge together by working with our local communities, the state, and federal agencies to rebuild areas affected by these major weather events.

Thank you for your consideration of this request.  Please do not hesitate to contact us should you need further assistance in this effort. 

Sincerely, 

Roger F. Wicker, United States Senator 

Cindy Hyde-Smith, United States Senator

Bennie G. Thompson, Member of Congress 

Steven Palazzo, Member of Congress 

Trent Kelly, Member of Congress

Michael Guest, Member of Congress