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Four counties declared federal disaster areas after weekend storms

Residents of Magnolia Street in Hattiesburg take a break from cleaning up after a tornado Saturday.
Residents of Magnolia Street in Hattiesburg take a break from cleaning up after a tornado Saturday. jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com

President Donald Trump has declared four Mississippi counties federal disaster areas after severe storms and tornadoes destroyed more than 1,100 homes and left four dead.

Forrest, Lamar, Lauderdale and Perry counties are eligible for federal aid, including grants to individuals and households affected by the storms.

“I would like to thank President Trump’s administration for its exceptionally quick response to our Mississippians in need,” Gov. Phil Bryant said. “With more than 500 homes either destroyed or having suffered major damage, this federal assistance is critical to help these counties recover. Our hearts and prayers continue to be with the four people killed, those injured and everyone who is faced with the task of rebuilding.”

The state had to show at least $4.2 million in damage to public facilities to be eligible for a declaration for government aid, and at least 250 homes destroyed or with major damage for an individual declaration.

Among other destruction, the tornado damaged large swaths of Hattiesburg, including William Carey University’s main campus.

Anyone with damage can apply for aid by going to www.disasterassistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA.

Regina Zilbermints: 228-896-2340, @RZilbermints

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