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Craig Fugate tours Mississippi recovery projects for Hurricane Katrina’s 5th Anniversary

Craig Fugate toured Biloxi Lighthouse recovery project completed recently
Craig Fugate toured Biloxi Lighthouse   one of the recently completed recovery projects

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate met with the state and local officials to tour Mississippi’s two recently completed recovery projects.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate met with state and local officials in Mississippi and toured two recently completed recovery projects, the Bay St. Louis Firehouse and the Biloxi Lighthouse.

The firehouse was built in part using $1.8 million in FEMA funds and is the first firehouse built in Bay St. Louis in more than 100 years.  The lighthouse, which was built in 1848 and is on the National Register of Historic Places, was restored and reopened to the public in March of this year.  FEMA contributed approximately $280,000 to the project. 

In Bay St. Louis, Fugate was joined by Bay St. Louis Mayor Les Fillingame, Waveland Mayor Tommy Longo, and Hancock County Board of Supervisors President Rocky Pullman.  In Biloxi, he was joined by Biloxi Mayor A.J. Holloway, Gulfport Mayor George Schloegel, D'Iberville Mayor Rusty Quave, Long Beach Mayor Billie Skellie, Pass Christian Mayor Chipper McDermott, and Harrison County Board of Supervisors Connie Rocko.

"FEMA remains committed to working with the people of the Gulf Coast as they continue to rebuild their lives and their communities," said Fugate.  "Recovering from a disaster the magnitude of Hurricane Katrina requires a team approach, and in Mississippi we've seen the strength of the team, with all levels of government, the private sector, faith groups and non-profits, and especially the public all working together.  Five years ago, as head of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, I was proud to assist state and local officials in their response.  And I'm just as proud today at the progress that's been made in the state's recovery, thanks to the hard work of all involved."

Over the last year and a half, FEMA and the Obama Administration has worked with state and local officials to cut through bureaucratic red tape and get money moving to important projects on the ground.  Since January, 2009, FEMA has been able to provide more than $170 million to the state of Mississippi in Public Assistance, and $2.33 billion to Louisiana.  These funds have gone to everything from rebuilding schools to supporting fire and police to improvements to sewer and water systems and other public infrastructure. 

A number of other Administration officials, including Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and FEMA Deputy Administrator Rich Serino visited Mississippi to mark the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.  President Obama also spoke at Xavier University in New Orleans.

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