Trump declares Mississippi counties hit by tornado federal disaster areas

JACKSON, Miss. — President Donald Trump has declared four Mississippi counties federal disaster areas, Gov. Phil Bryant announced Wednesday.

The four counties, Forrest, Lamar, Lauderdale and Perry, all sustained damage from the tornadoes and severe storms that swept through the South this past weekend.

Four people died, and more than 500 homes were either destroyed or greatly damaged.

The disaster declaration means residents of these counties will be eligible for assistance to help recover and rebuild. A statewide hazard mitigation grant program was also approved.

Bryant said Trump called him to give him the news about the disaster declaration.

“I thank him and his administration for quick action to assist with our recovery,” he said.

There is a possibility of more federal assistance; officials are surveying damage to determine if more help is needed.

If you live in Forrest, Lamar, Lauderdale or Perry County and suffered losses during the storms, go to disasterassistance.gov or call 1-800-621-FEMA. The number for people with speech or hearing difficulties is (TTY) 1-800-462-7585.