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Missouri requests expanded disaster declaration

Missouri requests expanded disaster declaration

Callaway among counties that could receive assistance

July 16th, 2019 in Local News

The Callaway County Sheriff's Office shared images Monday of murky Missouri River water just north of Jefferson City. According to the National Weather Service, floodwaters should begin gradually receding soon.

Photo by Photo courtesy of Blake Atkins

The Missouri State Emergency Management Agency has requested that the Federal Emergency Management Agency expand President Donald Trump's recent federal disaster declaration to include more counties and provide assistance to public agencies.

If FEMA approves, Trump's July 9 Individual Assistance disaster declaration would expand to include residents and businesses in Callaway, Adair, Barton, Christian, Clark, Cooper, Dallas, Douglas, Gasconade, Grundy, Harrison, Hickory, Howard, Jefferson, Laclede, Lewis, Macon, Polk, Saline, St. Louis and Ste. Genevieve counties.

"Many Missouri communities have been hit hard this year by flooding and severe storms that have damaged and destroyed homes and businesses," Gov. Mike Parson said in a Tuesday news release. "Public agencies have also been impacted by severe damage to roads, bridges, and public buildings. Expanding the disaster declaration is warranted due to the extent of the damage across these additional counties and the high cost of repairs."

The 21 counties were denied assistance in the July 9 federal disaster declaration but "earlier assessments, conducted by helicopter due to the flooding, did not capture all of the damaged homes," according to the news release.

SEMA asked FEMA to evaluate the new damage information and have damage assessors revisit Callaway, Clark, Cooper, Gasconade, Howard, Lewis, Saline, St. Louis and Ste. Genevieve counties, according to the news release.

SEMA also requested FEMA conduct damage assessments for individual assistance for the first time in Cape Girardeau, Marion, Newton and McDonald counties. If FEMA approves, SEMA would later request these counties be included in the disaster declaration, according to the news release.

Currently, the declaration applies to residents and businesses impacted by flooding, tornadoes and severe storms since April 29 in Cole, Boone, Miller, Osage, Andrew, Atchison, Buchanan, Carroll, Chariton, Greene, Holt, Jackson, Jasper, Lafayette, Lincoln, Livingston, Pike, Platte, Pulaski and St. Charles counties.

Currently, residents and businesses in the 20 counties can apply for individual assistance through the federal government. It allows eligible residents to seek assistance for temporary housing, housing repairs, replacement of damaged belongings, vehicles, and other expenses resulting from flooding and storms.

SEMA requested FEMA expand Trump's July 9 disaster declaration to also provide public assistance to 68 counties help repair public infrastructure and recoup some emergency response costs.

Those include Cole, Miller, Adair, Andrew, Atchison, Barry, Barton, Bates, Bollinger, Buchanan, Caldwell, Camden, Cape Girardeau, Carroll, Cedar, Chariton, Clark, Dade, Dallas, Daviess, Douglas, Gentry, Grundy, Harrison, Henry, Hickory, Holt, Howell, Jackson, Jasper, Knox, Laclede, Lewis, Linn, Livingston, Macon, Maries, Marion, McDonald, Mercer, Mississippi, Monroe, Montgomery, New Madrid, Newton, Nodaway, Ozark, Pemiscot, Perry, Pike, Putnam, Ralls, Randolph, Ray, Ste. Genevieve, Saline, Schuyler, Scotland, Shannon, Shelby, Stoddard, Sullivan, Taney, Texas, Vernon, Wayne, Webster and Wright counties.

Additional counties may be added for public assistance as more information is gathered, according to the news release.

FEMA, SEMA and local damage assessment teams identified more than $26 million in infrastructure damage and emergency response costs in those local jurisdictions, according to the news release.

Missouri had more than $23 million in damage and expenses due to flooding and storms.

As of July 15, FEMA approved more than 300 households for individual assistance grants, according to the news release. It also provided more than $1.6 million to survivors to assist with recovery.

Since March, FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program paid more than $18 million to Missouri policyholders for flood claims, according to the news release.

Residents can register for FEMA assistance by calling 800-621-3362 7 a.m.-10 p.m. any day. They can also register by visiting DisasterAssistance.gov

On May 22, an EF-3 tornado ripped through Jefferson City and Eldon, and the Capital City has been combating flooding since late May.