With many still without power, county board declares state of emergency

By BY RECARDO THOMAS STAFF REPORTER,

A severe weather system characterized by reportedly 60 mph winds and possible tornadoes ripped through the northern portion of Sunflower County as well as neighboring counties early Saturday morning and left a field of debris in its wake.

Residents in Rome, Drew, Ruleville and Sunflower were without power and water for a time and some residents are still in the dark, which prompted the Sunflower County Board of Supervisors to meet on Monday in a special session to officially declare a condition of local emergency for Sunflower County.

The board voted unanimously to issue the proclamation.

Board Attorney Johnny McWilliams said, “That automatically gives the emergency management agency director and the road managers authority to do whatever they need to do to keep things open without having to go through taking bids, contracting all that sort of thing.”

In addition to the local declaration, McWilliams announced that EMA Director Denny Evans had also drafted a resolution requesting that the governor declares a state of emergency and the county leaders voted to signoff on it as well.

McWilliams said the state resolution was necessary so that the county would be eligible to receive any state and federal assistance that becomes available. Each supervisor had to sign off on the proclamations.

McWilliams said by law the local declaration period could only last 30 days, unless the county lawmakers met and decided to extend it until the emergency was declared over.

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