Wednesday, September 1, 2021
As now Tropical Storm Ida travels northwest across the Appalachian Mountains, Mississippians are left taking stock of the damage the once-Category 4 Hurricane Ida incurred, and beginning repairs.
Power remains out for more than 31,000 Mississippians this morning, with outages mostly localized to southwestern counties. At least half of all residents in Amite and Pike counties are still without power, with bordering counties suffering varying degrees of outages.
At least four deaths are attributed to the storm, two of which were in Mississippi due to a collapsed section of Highway 26 near Lucedale, Miss. The collapse also caused at least 10 injuries as weather prevented visual identification of the collapse, leading to a vehicle pile-up.
During an Aug. 30 press briefing on the storm, Mississippi Emergency Management Agency Executive Director Stephen McCraney noted that dedicated public-assistance resources and information are available at the MEMA website, and that storm-related assistance is also available by calling 1-888-574-3583.
“If you need individual assistance, if you need help finding a shelter during this heat advisory that's coming up, if you need help with damage to your home, that's the number that you need to call,” McCraney said. “We have a full accompanying individual assistance team that will help you get those things that you do.”
Those who wish to self-report property damage for MEMA data collection may do so here.
Anyone from Louisiana currently in Mississippi may also contact MEMA for assistance.
“If you're in the state of Mississippi, you can call us here at MEMA, and we will help you transition to make sure that you have a home to go to and that you can be taken care of and have the right support mechanisms back in your state when you get there,” McCraney said. “MEMA is here hand-in-hand with the emergency management agency for Louisiana as well.”
Senior Deputy and Director of the Mississippi State Department of Health Jim Craig cautioned that anyone using an at-home power generator should be aware of the need for adequate ventilation due to their carbon-monoxide emissions, and that carbon-monoxide poisoning is one of the leading causes of injury after storms.
“Carbon monoxide is something you can't see, smell or taste,” Craig said. “You don't know that it's there. Don't operate a generator anywhere near your window in the home. Make sure it's out and away from the building.The signs and symptoms ... start having a headache, notice that the skin colors of the family members are turning red, carbon monoxide is present. So again, be very, very safe with the generators.”
MSDH COVID-19 vaccination and testing sites remain closed for Central and South Mississippi, but will reopen tomorrow, Sept. 2.
Email Reporting Fellow Julian Mills at [email protected].