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Wicker, Hyde-Smith, & Palazzo...

Wicker, Hyde-Smith, & Palazzo announce $7.3 million to construct eight safe rooms in Petal, Hattiesburg & Brooklyn

By: Sarah Ulmer - July 16, 2018

With this Award, FEMA has Approved Funding for 10 Safe Rooms in Forrest County since January

U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) and Congressman Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.) today announced the approval of $7.3 million to construct eight additional safe rooms in Forrest County.

All eight safe rooms will be constructed at various school locations in Forrest County, including four structures in Petal, three in Hattiesburg, and one in Brooklyn.  Since January, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved Hazard Mitigation Grant funding to construct 10 safe rooms in the Hattiesburg region.

“The addition of these eight safe rooms will protect residents of Forrest County when severe weather strikes,” Wicker said.  “I will continue to work with FEMA and local officials to invest in emergency preparedness, which will save lives.”

“I commend the leadership in Forrest County for its diligence in pursuing resources to provide shelter for youth and residents during emergency situations,” Hyde-Smith said.  “These safe rooms around the county will ensure more people survive severe weather situations.”

“The safe rooms will serve as a useful and necessary resource for the community during extreme weather events,” Palazzo said.  “This ongoing mitigation project is a smart federal investment in the Pine Belt area that will help keep our citizens out of harm’s way.”

Stand-alone safe rooms, which will be constructed to withstand winds of up to 200 mph, will be built at the following locations:

Overall, the eight projects will cost $8.7 million, with FEMA picking up almost 85 percent of the cost.  In November 2015, FEMA provided $652,000 to support preliminary work on these safe rooms.

In January, lawmakers announced a $1 million grant to construct a 5,000-square-foot safe room at the Dixie Attendance Center on Elks Lake Road in Forrest County.  Another $1.0 million grant was awarded in April for construction of a community safe room at the Forrest County Agricultural High School in Brooklyn.

The FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program provides funding to states and local governments for long-term hazard mitigation activities designed to reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters.  Data shows that investments in hazard mitigation before a disaster create a net savings of taxpayer dollars during post-disaster response and recovery periods.

Senator Roger Wicker Press Release


About the Author(s)
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Sarah Ulmer

Sarah is a Mississippi native, born and raised in Madison. She is a graduate of Mississippi State University, where she studied Communications, with an emphasis in Broadcasting and Journalism. Sarah’s experience spans multiple mediums, including extensive videography with both at home and overseas, broadcasting daily news, and hosting a live radio show. In 2017, Sarah became a member of the Capitol Press Corp in Mississippi and has faithfully covered the decisions being made by leaders on some of the most important issues facing our state. Email Sarah: