MEMA budget cuts: Counties will ‘suffer’ after disaster

With 33 tornadoes already on the books this year, the Legislature has cut the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency’s budget again…

…MEMA Director Lee Smithson said since he took office on Feb. 1, the state has seen 33 confirmed tornadoes and flooding in 42 of 82 counties, 26 of which were issued federal disaster declarations. The flooding is considered the worst statewide damage since Hurricane Katrina. In addition, this hurricane season is forecast to be the worst since 2012.

“We’re doing so with the 48 percent of the budget, and that becomes a life safety issue,” Smithson said. “We’re not first responders and don’t claim to be, but we’re the ones who help when the counties get into recovery mode and if we can’t do that, it’s the counties that suffer.”

Clarion Ledger
4/25/16