Storms recently ravaged parts of the Deep South leaving dozens dead and even more without the places they once called home. An EF-4 tornado decimated the small towns of Rolling Fork and Silver City, Mississippi, on Friday, March 24, 2023. Federal Disaster Declarations are up, but recovery in the hardest-hit towns will take years.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) estimates 313 structures across Mississippi were destroyed. Leaders say the storms impacted another 1,000 in some way. According to the Associated Press, the storms rolled through one of the poorest parts of Mississippi. The Magnolia State is also one of the poorest in America.
Many jobs in the area are tied to agriculture jobs, and many workers live paycheck to paycheck. Sharkey and Humphreys counties are largely rural and the hardest hit by the EF-4 tornado. The poverty rate in both counties is over 30% more than double that of the entire United States.
Storm Victims Begin Recovery from Tornado
Immediately following the storms, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves promised to help the towns rebuild. He says “the loss will be felt in these towns forever. Please pray for God’s hand to be over all who lost family and friends.”
Moreover, the storms highlight the need for more affordable housing. The local supply in Rolling Fork and Silver City, MS, was scarce before the tornado. Many of the survivors will stay with family and friends, unsure of when and where they will find another home.
More than a dozen shelters are open to storm victims in the hardest hit areas including:
- The National Guard Armory located at 19719 US Highway 61 in Rolling Fork, MS.
- The Humphreys County Multipurpose Building located at 417 Silver City Road in Belzoni, MS.
- The Old Amory National Guard Building located at 101 S 9th Street in Amory, MS.
The locations listed are also accepting donations for the victims. If you would like to donate, you can do so through The Red Cross.
Waivers for Storms Victims
HUD announced more than two dozen waivers to help expedite recovery for Mississippi Tornado Victims. The waivers follow the natural disaster declaration from The White House. These waivers can be used for construction, relocation, infrastructure improvements, and more.
Finally, natural disasters events like the storms and tornadoes across the Deep South serve as an excellent reminder to property owners and managers. Disasters can cause significant destruction to lives and to property. Review the HUD expectations of property managers when properties are impacted by Tornadoes, Floods, and other natural disasters.