Bryant eyes federal disaster ruling on tornadoes


JACKSON, Miss (AP) - Gov. Phil Bryant says he wants a federal disaster declaration for some or all of the seven counties hit by a pair of tornadoes last week.

Preliminary counts show 233 homes were destroyed or seriously damaged in the Wednesday tornadoes, which killed 10 in a path from Clarksdale to Walnut. Another 463 homes received lighter damage.

Bryant says the state wants the Federal Emergency Management Agency to make grants to individuals in Benton, Coahoma, Marshall, Quitman and Tippah counties. If Mississippi meets the $4.2 million threshold for damage to public and nonprofit facilities, Bryant says he'll also ask FEMA to make grants to governments and nonprofits, likely in Benton, Marshall and Tippah counties.

Public assistance means FEMA would pay to rebuild damaged facilities, plus help cover response and debris removal.

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