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Governor Says FEMA Has Agreed to Extend Debris Removal Deadline for Hancock County, Waveland, Bay St. Louis

From: Office of the Governor      Filed 6/20/06  GCN

Governor Haley Barbour announced today that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has agreed to extend the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers mission to finish debris removal along the hardest hit areas of the Mississippi Coast.

The mission extension extends the June 30 debris removal deadline for the cities of Bay St. Louis, Pass Christian, Waveland and unincorporated areas of Hancock County. The Corps of Engineers now has an additional three months to complete debris removal operations in those areas.

"I am pleased the federal government, FEMA and the Army Corps of Engineers continue to assist the hardest hit areas of our state," Governor Barbour said. "I am confident this extension will allow time for the difficult job of debris removal to be finished."

Beginning July 1, state and local governments will be required to pay 10 percent of debris removal costs; since the hurricane, the federal government has paid 100 percent of debris removal costs and will continue to pay the full amount through June 30. As of June 8, the latest official reporting period, more than 43.3 million cubic yards of debris had been removed from Mississippi, and debris removal is about 98 percent complete statewide.

Hancock County and its cities have said that they cannot pay the 10 percent local match. The extended deadline will allow 100 percent federal reimbursement for the debris removal through the new deadline.

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