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Tupelo getting funding for removal of debris after devastating tornado

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 — U.S. Sens. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), with Rep. Alan Nunnelee (R-Miss.), are supporting the distribution of $1.95 million in new funding to the city of Tupelo for tornado damage debris removal.

The lawmakers announced the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funding, which will support Tupelo’s ongoing recovery from a deadly April 28 tornado. The award, funded through the FEMA Disaster Recovery Fund, is being made in accordance with the FEMA Public Assistance guidelines for eligible debris removal.

“We are all committed to seeing that Tupelo recovers from the direct hit it took in April. This grant is indicative of FEMA and the state of Mississippi, acting as partners with city leaders, continuing to assess that recovery process and offer assistance,” said Cochran, who as a senior member of the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee has worked to ensure that sufficient funding is available in the FEMA Disaster Relief Fund to support estimated costs associated with an average disaster year.

The new $1.95-million grant represents an 80 percent federal share of the total $2.43 million associated with this application for assistance. The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency will cover the remaining 20 percent of the cost, pursuant to a law approved during a special session of the legislature following the storm.

FEMA awarded a similar $1.39 million grant to Tupelo in early August for eligible debris removal.

FEMA Public Assistance Grants provide supplemental disaster assistance to state, local and tribal governments, and certain types of private, nonprofit organizations for debris removal, emergency protective measures, and the repair, replacement, or restoration of disaster-damaged, publicly owned facilities.

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