FEMA approves $11M in Isaac grants; SBA OKs $1M+ in loans

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved $11.1 million in grants across Mississippi for damage from Hurricane Isaac.

That includes more than $9.5 million for housing assistance and $1.6 million for other needs such as personal property, damaged vehicles and medical expenses, FEMA spokesman Tim Tyson told The Mississippi Press.

In addition to that, the Small Business Administration has approved $1.4 million in loans, mostly for homes.

Tyson said 20,896 Mississippi residents have registered with FEMA or have asked the agency for help getting in touch with state or other agencies.

FEMA’s county totals include nearly $3.8 million for Jackson, nearly $2 million for Pearl River, $1.5 million for Harrison, just over $1 million for Hancock and $121,000 for George County, he said.

He said that because of lack of traffic, all disaster recovery centers were closing on Sundays and Wednesday will be the last day for six, in Lucedale, Wiggins, Poplarville, Quitman, Natchez and Jackson.

Others will remain open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays until further notice.

State and federal emergency officials have expanded services at all Disaster Recovery Centers to ensure that Hurricane Isaac survivors with disabilities have ready access to disaster assistance programs.

Mike Houston, a disabilities integration adviser, was at the Jackson County DRC on Friday to help install video phones and caption phones so sign language interpreters can help deaf and hearing-impaired people who ask for them. Those are being installed at all centers, he said.

In a separate Isaac relief effort piece, the U. S. Small Business Administration has approved more than $1 million in Disaster Assistance Loans for residents and businesses in Mississippi affected by the storm.

“Currently, 48 disaster loans have been approved in the amount of $1,391,800 for affected survivors,” said Frank Skaggs, director of SBA’s Field Operations Center East in Atlanta.

The disaster declaration covers the counties of Adams, Amite, Clarke, Forrest, George, Hancock, Harrison, Hinds, Jackson, Lincoln, Marion, Pearl River, Pike, Stone, Walthall, Warren and Wilkinson in Mississippi, which are eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA. Small businesses and most private non-profit organizations in the following adjacent counties are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Claiborne, Copiah, Covington, Franklin, Greene, Issaquena, Jasper, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Madison, Newton, Perry, Rankin, Simpson, Wayne and Yazoo in Mississippi.

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