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Storm relief in Lowndes County

Reported by: Wayne Hereford
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Updated: 5/08/2014 9:23 am

NEW HOPE, Miss (WTVA) -- The New Hope Community Center is the recovery center for MEMA AND FEMA  in Lowndes County.

And there are many residents here who say they need help and need it right away.

The New Hope area of Lowndes County was one of the areas devastated by the storms.

There were those in the Columbus city limits who were hit hard too like Gale Davis who was in New Hope seeking help Wednesday afternoon.

She said food stamp recipients appeared to get help faster than those who were not food stamp recipients.

"People who is not on food stamps can't seem to get any help. My lights didn't come back on until Monday morning at 8:30. And that was off for one week," she said.

So we asked a FEMA representative about that this afternoon and here is what he said.

"Everybody needs to register to start the process off. There's a lot of different services available. Through FEMA, there might be direct funding grants," said FEMA Public Information Officer Thomas Kempton.

There are other agencies on site too, such as the American Red Cross and the Small Business Administration.

If FEMA can't help right now, he adds, perhaps one of the other agencies can.

"Food insecurity has been a big issue because the power has been out," Kempton continued. "People have lost their food in their refrigerators. While FEMA may not be able to help them with that, the Red Cross is here," he added.

Mary Edding of Columbus lost food in her refrigerator when the storm knocked out power at her house.

"It messed everything up. I didn't save no food," she replied.

Jamie Foster of New Hope had storm damage to her home too. Her needs are a little different.

"Basically we need beds," she said. "Its our most concern. A tree fell across our house and we lost our children's beds and all of their toys and all of their furniture."

Whatever the need say FEMA officials, the disaster recovery centers should be the first place to stop for help.

Kempton says that the agencies will remain in Lowndes County until all needs are met.

There are two disaster centers in Lowndes County, one in New Hope and another in Columbus.

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