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story.lead_photo.caption JULY 24, 2019, PHOTO: Glenda Breeding, FEMA disaster recovery manager, and Mitchell Jackson, housing crew lead, work the temporary disaster recovery center in Eldon with a few other team members. Photo by Danisha Hogue / News Tribune.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency issued almost $912,000 in grants to households in Cole and Miller counties, an agency spokesperson told the News Tribune.

Following flooding and tornadoes April 29 through July 5, President Donald Trump issued a major disaster declaration for Missouri on July 9 for 26 counties.

With a major disaster declaration in place, FEMA hit the ground running in several counties, including Cole and Miller. It opened disaster recovery centers in Jefferson City and Eldon to provide one-on-one help to survivors, and FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance teams went door-to-door in both counties to help victims register for federal assistance or to provide information.

FEMA provided $678,800 in individual assistance grants to 146 households in Cole County, FEMA spokesman John Mills said. Individual assistance grants are for basic home repairs, temporary rental assistance and other needs not covered by insurance, which may include replacing damaged personal property.

In Miller County, FEMA provided $233,000 in individual assistance grants to 53 households.

"Most insurance policies cover homeowners and renters for tornado damage," Mills said. "By law, FEMA cannot duplicate insurance benefits or assistance provided by other programs or organizations."

FEMA gave $7.2 million in individual assistance grants to 1,488 households in 26 Missouri counties for flooding, storm and tornado damages that were not already covered under insurance, he said.

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Of the $59.8 million in flood insurance claims FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program has paid, more than $937,000 went to Cole County flood insurance policyholders, Mills said. There were about 1,735 flood insurance claims statewide, with 25 from Cole County.

Eighty-two counties, plus the city of St. Louis, were also eligible for public aid under the disaster declaration issues in July.

About a dozen entities in Cole County requested public assistance grants from FEMA, Mills said, including Cole County and Jefferson City governments and the State Emergency Management Agency. FEMA has received more than 500 requests for public assistance statewide, he added.

"FEMA is actively working with eligible applicants to help them receive 75 percent federal funding through the state for disaster-related expenses," Mill said. "All three of those entities that I mentioned specifically — Cole County government, Jefferson City government and State Emergency Management Agency — FEMA has staff working with those entities now."

Disaster-related expenses could include debris removal costs, emergency protective measures and permanent work projects to restore damaged infrastructure and facilities.

FEMA does not directly reimburse local governments and other entities, Mills said. After FEMA reviews documentation, he added, Missouri will receive approved FEMA funding and the state will reimburse local governments and nonprofits.

While Mills does not know when reimbursement will occur, he said "it will be in the coming months."

The U.S. Small Business Administration also set up shop in Jefferson City, operating a business recovery center in Jefferson City in July and August to work with businesses impacted by flooding and tornadoes. SBA representatives were also at FEMA's disaster recovery centers in Cole and Miller counties.

The SBA offers low-interest loans for property damage and/or economic injury to businesses, renters, homeowners and nonprofits in places hit by declared disasters.

In Cole County, the SBA has approved 19 loans — 17 for homes and two for businesses — as of Tuesday, said Garth MacDonald, SBA public information officer. The loans come to a total of $699,100, with $502,000 of that being from home loans, he added.

The SBA approved five home loans in Miller County as of Tuesday, for a total of $339,300, MacDonald said. The SBA did not approve any business loans in Miller County, he added.

As of the end of September, insured losses in Missouri following tornadoes in Jefferson City, Eldon, Golden City and Carl Junction are estimated to total nearly $170.6 million, said Lori Croy, director of communications for the Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance. More than 5,194 claims were reported, she added.

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