President Barack Obama approved a major disaster declaration for 33 Missouri counties damaged by severe weather and flooding in late December and early January.
The declaration makes assistance programs available to eligible residents for such things as temporary housing and repairs for losses caused by the flooding. Residents are encouraged to document any losses through photos, receipts and other means.
The unusual winter flooding, prompted by three straight days of torrential rains, left 16 people dead and significantly damaged nearly 1,000 homes in eastern and southern Missouri.
Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency on Dec. 27. He asked the president for the disaster declaration Jan. 15.
“This was a significant disaster that did widespread damage, and its impact continues to be felt in communities across the state,” Nixon said in a statement. “This federal declaration will help affected residents and businesses rebuild and recover, and I thank the president for granting our request.”
Counties eligible under the program are Barry, Barton, Camden, Cape Girardeau, Cole, Crawford, Franklin, Gasconade, Greene, Hickory, Jasper, Jefferson, Laclede, Lawrence, Lincoln, Maries, McDonald, Morgan, Newton, Osage, Phelps, Polk, Pulaski, Scott, St. Charles, St. Francois, St. Louis, Ste. Genevieve, Stone, Taney, Texas, Webster and Wright.
Crews from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will be in Missouri to offer registration help and assess needs from damage that occurred during the storms that hit the state in late December and earlier this month. The agency says inspectors also will verify damage for residents who’ve applied for federal assistance.
Those seeking assistance can register at www.DisasterAssistance.gov , or call the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s registration line at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).
The deadline for most individual assistance programs is 60 days after the disaster declaration.
Nixon said assessments are continuing to determine the damage to public infrastructure and flood-related emergency response costs for state and local government agencies and nonprofit agencies.