FEMA awards grants for three projects, including fortifying Coast hospital

SOUTH MISSISSIPPI — U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) reports that more than $18.3 million in federal funding has been approved for disaster mitigation activities in South Mississippi, including funding to reinforce the Singing River Hospital in Pascagoula and to build a special medical needs shelter in Stone County.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved three Hazard Mitigation Grant Program awards for Mississippi, including $15.33 million to fortify the Pascagoula hospital, $1.27 million to build a regional medical needs shelter in Stone County and $1.93 million to continue support for the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Coastal Critical Facility Wind Retrofit initiative.

The Singing River Hospital project will entail hardening the exteriors of the hospital, the Regional Cancer Center and Heart Center to withstand 150 mph winds — the wind speed and impact standard for this region. The FEMA grant will cover 95 percent of the $16.13 million cost of this mitigation work.

FEMA is providing 100 percent of the $1.27 million cost for the special medical needs shelter to be built in Stone County to serve patients from the six-county coastal region of South Mississippi (Stone, Harrison, Hancock, Jackson, George and Pearl). FEMA indicates that the proposed Stone County site near the intersection of Highway 49 and Highway 26 provides easy evacuation routes from all six counties.

The $1.93 million award for the MEMA Coastal Critical Facility Wind Retrofit project will support wind retrofit on state-owned and occupied buildings in Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties. This grant, which requires a 25 percent nonfederal cost share, may also be used to retrofit local critical facilities and buildings in these counties.

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