FEMA orders federal disaster aid for flooded Mississippi towns

Federal disaster aid has been made available for Mississippi to help families and communities recover from the effects of severe storms and floods that hit the state earlier this month, according to the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Washington, April 18, 2001 — Federal disaster aid has been made available for Mississippi to help families and communities recover from the effects of severe storms and floods that hit the state earlier this month, according to the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh said the assistance was authorized under a major disaster declaration issued for the state by President Bush. The declaration covers damage to private and public property from the storms and flooding that occurred over the period of April 3-5.

Following the President's action, Allbaugh designated the counties of Attala, Holmes and Lee eligible for aid to stricken residents and business owners.

The engorged Mississippi River has begun a slow retreat after flooding cities and towns in Minnesota. Downstream, towns still work to hold back the river's crest.

Although Minneapolis and St. Paul were safe because of levees, smaller towns like Wabasha, Minn., and Fountain City, Wis., saw five-foot deep flooding in some places.

A few miles downstream in La Crosse, Wisconsin, the river was cresting at 16.5 feet, down from a previously feared 17-foot crest, but second only to the record 17.9 feet reached in 1965.

In Des Moines, Iowa, warnings of record or near-record flooding have prompted Governor Tom Vilsack to issue a proclamation of disaster for ten Iowa counties along the Mississippi River.

The proclamation will make state resources available to the counties of Allamakee, Clayton, Clinton, Des Moines, Dubuque, Jackson, Lee, Louisa, Muscatine, and Scott.

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