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Nearly $2 million in federal assistance came into Cole and Miller counties after last year's tornado and flooding.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency issued $950,000 in grants to households in Cole and Miller counties after last year's natural disasters.

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.

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 assistance.

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FEMA provided $711,952 in individual assistance grants to 148 households in Cole County, FEMA spokesman Crystal Payton 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 $239,703 in individual assistance grants to 56 households.

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

FEMA gave $7.4 million in individual assistance grants to 1,497 households in 26 Missouri counties for flooding, storm and tornado damage that was not already covered under insurance, he said.

Of the $70.1 million in flood insurance claims FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program has paid, more than $1,033,234 went to Cole County flood insurance policyholders, Payton said. There were 1,767 flood insurance claims statewide, with 27 from Cole County.

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

Gallery: PHOTO GALLERY: One year after the May 22, 2019, tornado

Fourteen entities in Cole County requested public assistance grants from FEMA, Payton said, including the Cole County and Jefferson City governments and the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency.

FEMA received more than 500 requests for public assistance statewide.

Disaster-related expenses for public entities 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, Payton said. After FEMA reviews documentation, Payton said, the state receives approved FEMA funding, and the state reimburses local governments and nonprofits.

Miller County Associate Commissioner Darrell Bunch said they have weekly calls with federal and state officials in their efforts to get money for repairs on some county property. The Miller County Road Shed on Doyle Road suffered an estimated $50,000, and five road graders and dump trucks were damaged, he said.

Jefferson City Finance Director Margie Mueller said the city has gotten FEMA approval for very specific projects. One is to replace fencing at the Jefferson City Memorial Airport; FEMA estimated the cost at $70,000. The city has put the work out to bid.

Mueller said Jefferson City also will be able to use FEMA money to replace pumps at the sewer treatment plant, but the dollar figure hasn't been determined. She added they have yet to hear about getting reimbursed for time and equipment the city used to clean up tornado debris.

Cole County Auditor Kristen Berhorst said the county has yet to receive any money from FEMA related to costs incurred from the tornado.

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Payton said FEMA continues to work with these entities primarily on paperwork that still needs to be completed so claims are properly documented.

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 20 loans — 18 for homes and two for businesses — as of this month, SBA public information officer Garth MacDonald said. The loans come to a total of $737,100, with $540,000 of that for home loans and $197,200 for business loans.

The SBA had 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.

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