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Miller County seeks FEMA funds for August flood damage

Miller County seeks FEMA funds for August flood damage

November 17th, 2013 in News

In this Sept. 11, 2013, file photo, workers from Lake Ozark Fire & Water Damage Restoration construct a new office at Hope House of Miller County after making repairs to August's flood damage.

Photo by Rebecca Martin

Miller County has begun securing Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funding for damage incurred during August's severe flooding.

At a meeting Wednesday, a FEMA representative and county officials discussed guidelines on what types of projects are eligible for funding and how the application process will progress.

The August flooding, now deemed Disaster No. 4144, caused temporary evacuation of the city of Bagnell, Wood River Campground and Chaney Road Trailer Park in Miller County and brought Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon to declare a state of emergency in Miller, Laclede, Pulaski and Phelps counties. It also caused significant damage to roads and bridges, even washing out some low-water crossings.

"Some of them are complete rebuilds," said Presiding Commissioner Tom Wright.

The bulk of Miller County's damage occurred in District 2, the southern part of the county that includes Iberia and Brumley, Wright said.

"It's a frustrating and rewarding process," he continued - frustrating because the county has already put quite a bit of labor and money into repairs and rewarding because FEMA will likely approve funds for further repairs. "This happened in August, and we're just now getting around to looking at them."

FEMA has set a tentative date of Dec. 3 for a team to come assess each site the county documents and submits for funding approval.

Wright is confident FEMA will approve funding for most of the work sites, estimating the percentage of Miller County's past success with similar situations as in the upper 90s.

"We get almost all of them," he said. "They know this was a major disaster here."

Once the approval comes through, FEMA will provide an estimated cost as well as a write-up of how the repairs should be made. Seventy-five percent of that cost will be covered by FEMA funds, with the other 25 percent paid for by combined state and county money. The county then will have 18 months to complete the work.