GUNTOWN • Lt. Gov.-elect Delbert Hosemann toured a storm-battered section of Northeast Mississippi on Wednesday to survey damaged homes and speak with residents in the area.

Hosemann told the Daily Journal after his visit to Guntown that he typically has traveled to storm-damaged areas and wants to speak with the homeowners in the area and listen to their concerns. He even sat down with one homeowner to just ask “How’s it going?”

“People just want to know you care about them,” Hosemann said.

Many residents sustained damage to their homes from a tornado that swept through the area on Monday, but Hosemann said most of the people he spoke with were overwhelmingly positive about the situation and were focused on rebuilding their homes.

“We’ve got a resiliency here that I just don’t see anywhere else really,” he said.

On Tuesday, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant declared a state of emergency existed in several areas throughout the state, including Guntown. Hosemann, the current secretary of state, also signed off on the declaration.

Hosemann told the Daily Journal he didn’t think Guntown itself sustained enough damage to satisfy the threshold needed for a federal disaster declaration. However, he said federal officials are conducting a final, collective survey from all of the storm-damaged areas in the state to see if a federal declaration can be issued for all of the areas.

“This will probably take one to two weeks to do,” Hosemann said.

The incoming lieutenant governor said the faith community deserves a lot of credit for assisting with the aftermath of the storm. He added that the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency has done a good job of responding to the storm.

“We all need to be thankful it’s Christmas and that everyone who was affected is alive, and we’ll work on rebuilding Mississippi,” he said.

State Sen. Chad McMahan, a Republican from Guntown, joined Hosemann as he toured the area Tuesday.

Like Hosemann, McMahan praised the effort of the community to help those in need, including local churches, non-profits and business interests.

“The entire community has come together,” McMahan said.

taylor.vance@journalinc.com

Twitter: @taylor_vance28

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