Elected officials survey flooding damage in Tunica County - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Elected officials survey flooding damage in Tunica County

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TUNICA, MS -

(WMC-TV) - A delegation of Mississippi's elected officials visited Tunica Friday to see firsthand house serious the flooding situation has become.

"Mississippi has taken it on the chin the last few weeks as far as disasters," said U.S. Senator Roger Wicker.

For some of the Mississippi congressional delegation, who toured the county by bus and by helicopter, it was their first time to witness the damage with their own eyes.

"We had seen initial photos of the area, and how much water has inundated the casinos and outlying areas, but until you see the scope it just kind of takes you back," State Senator Billy Hewes said.

"The might of the Mississippi River is tremendous," Mississippi House Speaker Billy McCory added. "One just has to see it to realize what a great force of nature it is."

But that force can't be rushed.   

"You may not be able to access your home for three to six weeks in a slow flood like we have now, as opposed to a flash flood, and that's the frustration about this," Rep. John Mayo said.

Delegates said everything that can be done in Tunica County right now is being done.  FEMA is on the ground and the Department of Housing and Urban Development is aware of the situation.  

The delegates pledged to get Tunica County and the state of Mississippi all the help the federal government has to offer.  

"We're going to make sure that Tunica and the rest of Mississippi Delta and state get everything they're entitled to under the statute," Wicker said.

But it could be weeks before evacuees in Tunica County are able to see what's left of their flood ravaged homes. Flood waters forced Melanie Delhomme out of her home at the Tunica County Cutoff on April 26th.

"We want to see," Delhomme said. "It's just like a yearning. It's like a validation of what it is the devastation that we know we're gong to see."

Delhomme first took shelter at a relative's house, but relocated to the Red Cross Shelter at the local recreation center to be closer to neighbors and friends who are dealing with the same tragedy.

"We wanted to be here with our people, with our neighbors and with our friends," she said.

Leslie Sherwin is a 77-year-old budding country music star who's been using his talents to raise the spirits of fellow shelter guests.

"It's been quite gratifying for me to be able to do that for everybody," he said.

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