Mo. disaster bill at $15M so far, likely to rise

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri has spent about $15 million so far this year responding to natural disasters such as the deadly Joplin tornado and flooding along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers.

State budget director Linda Luebbering says the tally primarily reflects costs incurred by the Missouri National Guard and the State Emergency Management Agency. Some of those expenses may be reimbursed later by the federal government.

But Missouri’s 2011 disaster costs ultimately are expected to be much higher. That’s because Missouri has not yet got a bill from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the state’s share of cleaning up debris from the Joplin tornado.

Luebbering says the state also could end up bearing part of the cost of rebuilding Joplin schools, if the total is not fully covered by insurance.

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