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Obama declares disaster in tornado-torn counties

CENTRAL MISSISSIPPI — President Barack Obama has issued a federal disaster declaration for five Mississippi counties that bore the brunt of the deadly tornado last weekend.

Residents and business owners in Attala, Choctaw, Holmes, Warren and Yazoo counties can now access federal emergency assistance programs.

“I appreciate the decision by President Obama to declare these counties that suffered tremendous damage as federal disaster areas,” Gov. Haley Barbour said. “Recovering and rebuilding has already begun. This disaster assistance will go a long way to helping our residents rebuild.”

Residents may register online at www.disasterassistance.gov or by calling toll-free 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.

“I encourage residents in this federal disaster area to call FEMA and apply for disaster assistance for which they may be eligible,” Barbour said.

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