JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A U.S. Department of Agriculture official will be in Mississippi this week touring flooded areas.

A news release from the agency says Dallas Tonsager, undersecretary for rural development, will also make stops in Louisiana and Arkansas.

Tonsager will travel in Mississippi Thursday with USDA Rural Development State Director Trina George, who mobilized local offices last week in preparation for a quick response to any damage caused by the massive floods.

George says the goal is to offer the agency's programs and services quickly to assist people who might need shelter and other short-term help. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, USDA Rural Development placed hundreds of evacuee families in vacant units at apartment complexes financed by the USDA.