Moss Point mayor discusses extent of tornado damage

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Following an EF-2 tornado that ripped through Moss Point on June 19, Mayor Billy Knight has provided an update on the extent of the damage.

During an appearance on MidDays with Gerard Gibert, Knight said 341 homes and businesses were either damaged or destroyed by the tornado, which had winds reach up to 130 miles per hour.

“We’re working through that now. We started the debris pick up on Monday,” Knight said. “The Red Cross is here helping to manage our recovery center, and we have out a shelter. We’re working through all that. We’re taking care of our people.”

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While no government money has been appropriated to Moss Point at this time, the mayor explained that funds will be on the way once the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) confirms the city’s damage assessment.

“MEMA is now verifying those numbers. The governor has those numbers, and the governor is trying to make sure and trying to decide whether the numbers meet the threshold to a point he can ask for a federal declaration,” Knight said. “We just have to be patient, and we can’t force the process. We can’t make it go any faster. In the meantime, we try to accommodate [victims] in as many ways as we can.”

While Knight did not release a monetary number for Moss Point specifically, MEMA executive director Stephen McCraney confirmed that the agency is working to receive emergency declaration status for the entire state. To do so, there must be at least $5.2 million in total damages.

Since June 10, Mississippi has been subject to near-constant severe weather with tornadoes hitting Jackson, Jasper, and Rankin counties.

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