Flood victims are asking the state for financial assistance

NATCHEZ, Miss. (WJTV) – Devastation is the reality for hundreds of people displaced by recent flooding, many have turned to shelters as they try to get back on their feet. Agencies like Red Cross are assisting people in Natchez.

WJTV sat down with MEMA to get answers on what exactly the agency is required to do in times like these. MEMA said their priority is to asses and analyze damage like homes, roads, and bridges.

“The Red Cross is doing a great job. To try to comfort those people as much as possible, but the problem that we fall into at the state level is the appropriations or the lack appropriations that we can spend on people who have been impacted,” said Lee Smithson, Executive Director of MEMA.

Assesments are still underway in Wilkinson County as the state nears its threshold of $4.2 millon dollars. At the point, Govenor Bryant can ask the Presidnet to declare a presidential disaster declaration.

Flood victims like Stephanie White have been living in the Natchez shelter since Friday.

“We can’t even go back to our home, the apartments. It’s only 24 apartments and they had to shut down our lights because it’s just that bad. Mud, and it started molding. Water is still sitting in my apartment,” said White.

Inside White’s home, her kitchen is completley destroyed and every room has water damage

“Even though I know that is material things that we can get back, but we can’t replace our life back so I’m asking for help. We need help,” said White.

White wants to know why is it taking the state so long to step in to help. This past legislative session, the disaster trust fund was cut $1.1 million dollars for the 2017 fiscal year, which is one of the challenges we now face.

“We’re a poor state, and so the state cannot afford to have a sizable disaster trust fund that’s just sitting there to provide relief,” said Smithson.

The people inside this shelter are depending on donations. Toys for children and clean clothing are just a few things that can make this transition a lot smoother.

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