Flood victims get recovery assistance information - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Flood victims get recovery assistance information

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As the Mississippi River slowly recedes, anxious flood victims want to return to their homes but that won't happen for quite some time.

Tuesday night, they got help with getting their lives back together.

More than 300 people filled the Vicksburg auditorium to learn about recovery assistance available to those who have been forced from their homes.

Vicksburg Mayor Paul Winfield conducted the session.

FEMA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as well as a host of state and federal disaster assistance agencies, were on hand to answer questions.

Billy Ray McDonald has 8 feet of water in his Vicksburg home.

"They gave me plenty of time to get everything out," McDonald said. "I'm hoping to get back if they let me go back. Like I say I've been there 35 years. This is the second time I've ever had to move."

MEMA urged residents to apply for disaster assistance with FEMA.

The Corps of Engineers updated them on the security of the levees and said the river's decent would be slow.

No one can return to their home anytime soon.

"Trying to find out what I can do and what kind of assistance I can get," said Vicksburg flood victim Peggy Cockrell. "Our neighbor Mrs. Creekmore told us that part of the house in the front of the property was bobbing up and down in the water. It came loose from the foundation. So we don't know."

FEMA officials said flood victims should also file with their insurance companies and apply for Small Business Administration loans.

"We have just opened up a Mobile Disaster Recovery Center," said FEMA representative Robin Smith. "It's in the old Blackburn Building. I think it's 2127 Washington (Street) in Vicksburg, and those people are down there to answer any of the questions you have."

Residents are still urged to stay away from the flood waters and their homes.

The deadline for applying for FEMA assistance is July 11.

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