Two area counties that weathered a deadly tornado on Easter Sunday have been included for federal disaster assistance, Gov. Tate Reeves’ office announced Monday.
Walthall and Lawrence counties have been included in a list of counties eligible for assistance. Other counties recently approved are Bolivar, Calhoun, Carroll, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Clarke, Clay, Coahoma, Grenada, Holmes, Jasper, Lafayette, Leake, Montgomery, Noxubee, Panola, Quitman, Smith, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tate, Tunica, Webster and Yalobusha.
Initially, Jones, Covington and Jefferson Davis counties were approved for assistance.
Fifteen tornadoes ripped through the state on Easter, killing 14 people, including two each from Walthall and Lawrence counties.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is offering public assistance in the form of grants for debris removal, life-saving emergency protective measures and the restoration of infrastructure.
In a related matter, Wilkinson County has been approved for federal assistance due to the February flooding of the Pearl River. Reeves’ office said state officials are awaiting FEMA’s decision on whether to include Issaquena and Sharkey counties for public assistance from that disaster as well. Those three counties are bordered by the Mississippi River but are miles away from the Pearl River.