FEMA Update for Mississippi

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Jackson, Miss., - Officials continue to urge Mississippi Gulf Coast evacuees not to attempt to return home. Evacuees or residents attempting to get to the Gulf Coast could be impeding rescue missions, which are still ongoing. Search and rescue teams, other support services and commodities from other states have joined in the effort to assist federal, state and local authorities.

Interstate 1-55 is open, and generally, highways north of and including Interstate 20 are open. Interstate I-10 is closed to the public for the foreseeable future. Highway information is updated regularly by calling 601-359-7017.

Restoration of Cellular Services

Cellular South is working to restore cell service to Hancock County by placing a temporary tower in the Wal-Mart parking lot at Bay St. Louis. Other cell companies are working to provide “Cellular On Wheels” (COWs) to the affected area.

Currently, there are 99 American Red Cross shelters open. The current total population registered population is 12,958, with the total capacity of opened shelters at 32,696. The need to open additional shelters is anticipated. Local governments and other community organizations are asked to consider opening shelters, and local businesses are urged to donate supplies to support those additional shelters in their communities.

Search and Rescue:
Currently a total of 22 teams are engaged in search and rescue operations. US Coast Guard and local rescue teams have rescued thousands of individuals.

MS National Guard personnel have been increased to about 3000. MP’s are assisting in coastal counties with law enforcement. 1600 troops and 25 helicopters were deployed today with plans to increase military presence to 5000 over the next five days. Guard personnel are active in a broad range of operations in affected areas, such as search and rescue, medical evacuations, law enforcement, transportation of supplies, water and ice distribution, and fire fighting.

Water and Ice Distribution Points:

National Guard troops will distribute water and ice in the following locations:

County, Location, City

Adams Wal-Mart Super Center Natchez
Amite Amite County Court House Liberty
Attala Attala County Court House Kosciusko
Covington Former Piggly Wiggly Super Market Collins
Forrest Lynn Cartlidge Multi-Purpose Bldg. Hattiesburg
Franklin Franklin County Fairgrounds Bude
George National Guard 786 Trans. Co. Lucedale
Hancock Hancock County Livestock Arena Kiln
Harrison County Farm Gulfport
Hinds Mississippi State Fairgrounds Jackson
Jackson Jackson County Fairgrounds Pascagoula
Jasper John R. Sims Livestock Facility Bay Springs
Jefferson Vo-Tech Center Fayette
Jefferson Davis* Prentiss High School Prentiss
Jones Magnolia Center Laurel
Kemper Southern Circuits DeKalb
Lawrence Super Value Parking Lot Monticello
Leake Carthage Coliseum Carthage
D Lincoln Brookhaven Recreation Dept. Brookhaven
D Lowndes Columbus Waverly Square Columbus
Madison Madison County Road Dept. Canton
Marion Columbia Expo Center Columbia
Neshoba Neshoba County Coliseum Philadelphia
Noxubee Noxubee County Arena Macon
Newton Civic Center/Show Barn Newton
Perry Perry Central High School Beaumont
Pike Pike County Fair Grounds McComb
Rankin Rankin County Multi-Purpose Building Brandon
Scott Forrest-Scott County Coliseum Forrest
Simpson South Fork Fish House Magee
Smith Smith Agriculture Complex Raleigh
Stone Stone County Fair Ground Wiggins
Tallahatchie Tallahatchie County Fairgrounds Charleston
Tate Northwest Arena Senatobia
Walthall Southwest Event Center Tylertown
Wayne Mississippi National Guard Waynesboro
Winston Winston County Coliseum Louisville
Yazoo National Guard Armory Yazoo City

*New distribution sites
Power Outages

Current reports indicate a total of 640,742 customers without power. Reports from power companies are as follows:
• Entergy reported 137,705 meters without service
• Mississippi Power reported 159,570 meters without service
• Electrical Power Associations of Mississippi reported 323,955 meters without service
• Tennessee Valley Authority reported 19,512 meters without service

The Mississippi Department of Health requested Federal Disaster Medical Assistance Teams, which have arrived on the coast and have opened fully self-contained hospitals to assist with medical care. The Mississippi Department of Health is issuing boil water notices for several communities and cities, which can be found at the department’s website at www.msdh.state.ms.us. Information for medical professionals who want to volunteer, including physicians, nurses and emergency medical technicians, can also be found at the Department of Health’s website.

All members of the Mississippi State Guard (not the National Guard) who are not deployed please call the Emergency Operations Center at Joint Force Headquarters, Mississippi, at 601-313-6518 and ask for Captain Glover or Colonel Hutson.

Damage Assessments

Destroyed- 176
Major Damage 2,871
Minimal Damage- 8, 038

Destroyed- 28
Major Damage- 61
Minimal Damage- 249

Coroner confirmed deaths - 161

MS Secretary of State Eric Clark reminds people to be cautious about giving to charitable organizations that are unfamiliar. If you are not sure if a company is legitimate, please call 601-359-6367.