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FEMA approves funding for tornado debris removal, utility repairs

A tornado passes near Barnes Crossing Mall in Tupelo during the statewide outbreak of April 28. Recovery and rebuilding has begun, but will likely take years to complete.

A tornado passes near Barnes Crossing Mall in Tupelo during the statewide outbreak of April 28. Recovery and rebuilding has begun, but will likely take years to complete.

TUPELO — The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved more than $2.43 million in Disaster Relief Fund grants to support debris removal and utility repairs in Northeast Mississippi.

The grants for debris removal within the city of Tupelo and rural electrical line repairs were approved to support regional progress in recovering from the deadly tornadoes and severe weather that hit Northeast Mississippi on April 28. The funding will be made available to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency for distribution to the city of Tupelo and the East Mississippi Electric Power Association.

“These federal grants represent another step in the process to recover from those severe April storms.  The devastation was significant, but not enough to challenge the resilience of the good people in the path of the storm,” said Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), a member of the Senate appropriations subcommittee with jurisdiction over FEMA.

The city of Tupelo will receive $1.39 million for debris removal within its city limits. The FEMA Public Assistance Grant money represents 75 percent of the projects cost of $1.63 million.

The East Mississippi Electric Power Association has been granted a $1.04 million Public Assistance award to support permanent repairs to its tornado-damaged electrical distribution system. This grant will cover 85 percent of the $1.39 million project cost.

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