djr-2019-10-27-news-storm-damage-twp7

A Tupelo Public Works employee begins to remove a tree that fell across and blocked a portion of William Drive Saturday afternoon.

TUPELO • Northeast Mississippi could receive federal assistance in response to storm-related damage the area incurred two weeks ago from straight-line winds. This comes after multiple counties and cities have submitted information to the federal government seeking to receive funds.

Lee Bowdry, the emergency management director for Lee County, told the Daily Journal that in order for a local government to receive funding, the government must spend over a certain threshold on recovery efforts.

He also said that the Federal Emergency Management Agency is visiting the area this week to review damage and the data that counties and cities have submitted.

“The first thing is we have to meet our threshold,” Bowdry said. “Ours is $325,000 on the public assistance side.”

Bowdry anticipates the federal government will issue an assistance declaration.

This comes at a time when Lee County has proclaimed that a disaster exists within the county and is currently advertising for companies to assist with debris pickup.

Bill Benson, the interim county administrator, told the Daily Journal that the county has received bids for debris removal and monitoring and will review the bids on Thursday, but a declaration could impact the bidding process.

“If there’s no declaration we won’t need the monitor proposal,” Benson said. “If we do get a declaration, we’ll need them both.”

Benson said hopefully there will be enough information for the Board of Supervisors to select a debris removal company at its next meeting on Monday, Nov. 18.

Bowdry said if the county does contract with a company, then the emergency management office will post updates to let residents know when the company will come to their neighborhood to remove debris.

taylor.vance@journalinc.com

Twitter: @taylor_vance28

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