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Statement Announcing Disaster Assistance for Mississippi

January 25, 1969

I HAVE BEEN deeply saddened by reports of the natural disaster which struck the State of Mississippi last Thursday. I note that the grief caused to that State by the tornado of 2 days ago has been compounded by a gas explosion near Laurel, Miss., early this morning. To the families of those who have lost their lives and to other victims of these disasters, I extend my deep personal sympathy and that of the Nation.

I have asked the Office of Emergency Preparedness and other agencies of the Federal Government to thoroughly investigate the situation in Mississippi and to take immediate actions which they deem appropriate. A representative of the Office of Emergency Preparedness was quickly at the scene of tornado damage on Thursday and met with citizens of the communities which had suffered damage. Another OEP representative accompanied Governor John Bell Williams in an aerial inspection of the explosion area today.

The Federal Government has responded to the request for assistance the following ways:

1. A Disaster Assistance currently is in the State working with cal, State, and Federal officials on assistance efforts.

The OEP conducted a meeting night in Hazlehurst for State and officials and citizens of the affected The purpose of the meeting was to ate damages and possibilities for assistance. At the meeting, State and agency officials discussed their programs.

2. The Small Business Ad has designated Copiah, Simpson, Smith Counties as disaster loan areas eligible for long-term, low-interest rate assistance. The SBA regional office Jackson, Miss., will provide service disaster area.

3. The U.S. Department of Agriculture also is active in providing disaster assistance. The Consumer and Marketing

Service has supplied food for Red Cross feeding operations in Hazlehurst.

Richard Nixon, Statement Announcing Disaster Assistance for Mississippi Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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