TUPELO • Republican U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith on Tuesday announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved around $2.3 million in federal aid to help Lee County offset costs associated with removing debris following the damage from Tropical Storm Olga last October.
“These FEMA funds will compensate Lee County for clearing more than 71,000 cubic yards of debris, work that is first and foremost needed to begin the recovery process,” Hyde-Smith said in a statement to the Daily Journal. “The county continues to deal with debris from Tropical Storm Olga’s path of destruction, and I’m pleased FEMA is covering most of the cost for this work.”
In late October, the Lee County Board of Supervisors voted to approve a proclamation declaring that a state of emergency existed in the county because of the tropical storm, which left several county residents without power and with debris scattered on their property. The federal government in December also declared that a state of emergency existed in the county at the urging of the state’s congressional delegation.
After the federal declaration, the county then contracted with two companies to help remove the debris. The companies faced significant delays because of additional inclement weather the county experienced.
Bill Benson, the Lee County administrator, told the Journal that he appreciates FEMA’s assistance and estimates that the federal assistance will reimburse the county up to 75% of the costs incurred.
“Of course, our coordination between our civil defense director, Lee Bowdry, and our road manger, Tim Allred, helped,” Benson said. “They did most of the work in making sure we kept up with all of the documentation.”