February 11, 2016

FEMA approves Nixon’s request to expand Missouri’s federal disaster declaration

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today approved Governor Jay Nixon’s request to expand the federal major disaster declaration for Missouri.  The approval allows local and state government, as well as eligible nonprofit agencies in 37 counties and the City of St. Louis, to seek assistance for response and recovery expenses associated with flooding in December and January.

The flooding led to 16 deaths and destroyed or significantly damaged nearly 1,000 homes.

Damage assessment teams have identified an estimated $41 million in damage to infrastructure and response expenses for the storms.

Water churns on flooded Route 141 near Interstate Highway 44 in Valley Park, Missouri on January 1, 2016. Flooding statewide from three straight days of rain caused evacuations, road closures and fifteen deaths. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

Water churns on flooded Route 141 near Interstate Highway 44 in Valley Park, Missouri on January 1, 2016. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

“From the western to the eastern borders of the state, Missouri was hit by devastating flooding and severe weather that left a trail of destruction to roads, bridges, public structures and other infrastructure, along with significant response costs,” Nixon said. “This expanded federal disaster declaration will provide vital assistance to communities as they rebuild infrastructure that is essential to residents and businesses as they move their communities forward.”

The 37 counties included in the expanded disaster declaration are: Barry, Bollinger, Camden, Cape Girardeau, Cedar, Crawford, Dade, Dallas, Douglas, Dunklin, Franklin, Gasconade, Greene, Howell, Iron, Jasper, Jefferson, Lawrence, Lincoln, McDonald, Newton, Ozark,  Perry, Phelps, Pulaski, Reynolds, St. Charles, St. Clair, Ste. Genevieve, St. Louis, Scott, Stoddard, Stone,  Taney, Texas, Washington and Webster, as well as the City of St. Louis.

On January 21, President Barack Obama granted Nixon’s request for a major disaster declaration to assist residents affected by the flooding. That declaration made available the Individual Assistance program to help eligible residents with temporary housing, housing repairs, replacement of damaged belongings, vehicles and other expenses as a result of flooding, as well as disaster-related unemployment assistance in 33 Missouri counties: 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.

A railroad bridge is nearly covered by water from the Meramec River during historic flooding in Valley Park on December 31, 2015. Flooding statewide from three straight days of rain has caused evacuations, road closures and fourteen deaths. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

A railroad bridge is nearly covered by water from the Meramec River during historic flooding in Valley Park on December 31, 2015. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

Nixon declared a state of emergency in Missouri on December 27, as heavy rain, flooding and flash flooding impacted the state. The Missouri State Emergency Operations Plan also was activated, allowing state agencies to coordinate directly with local jurisdictions to provide emergency services.

On January 2, the President approved Nixon’s request for a federal emergency declaration to speed debris removal and relieve the strain of response and recovery costs in the St. Louis region. As a result of that declaration, Gov. Nixon announced Operation Recovery, a federal and state debris removal program coordinated by the Missouri National Guard, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Debris removal has been underway in Franklin, Jefferson, St. Charles and St. Louis counties.

Through February 9, Operation Recovery crews have removed and disposed of more than 98% of identified residential debris in participating communities in Franklin, Jefferson, St. Charles and St. Louis counties: 2,675 tons of construction and demolition debris, 1,201 tons of sand, as well as more than 25,000 household hazardous waste items, appliances and electronics items.

Individuals who sustained damage or losses due to the flooding between December 23, 2015 and January 9, in one of the 33 Missouri counties included in the January 21 Individual Assistance disaster declaration may register for disaster aid online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling FEMA’s toll-free registration line at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). The Governor said the quicker that Missourians register with FEMA, the more quickly they may be able to receive assistance. The deadline for applying for most individual assistance programs is March 21, 2016.

President grants disaster declaration for Missouri

President Barack Obama today granted Governor Jay Nixon’s request for a major disaster declaration in Missouri from recent flooding. The declaration makes the individual assistance program available to eligible residents in 33 Missouri counties who can now seek federal assistance, such as help with temporary housing and repairs, and to replace household items damaged or lost as a result of flooding.

The roads and stairs near The Gateway Arch are covered with flood waters of the Mississippi River during near historic flooding on December 31, 2015. Flooding statewide from three straight days of rain has caused evaucations, road closures and fourteen deaths. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

The roads and stairs near The Gateway Arch are covered with flood waters of the Mississippi River during near historic flooding on December 31, 2015. Flooding statewide from three straight days of rain has caused evaucations, road closures and fourteen deaths. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

“This was a significant disaster that did widespread damage, and its impact continues to be felt in communities across the state,” Nixon said. “This federal declaration will help affected residents and businesses rebuild and recover, and I thank the President for granting our request.”

The 33 Missouri counties eligible under the individual assistance 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.

Individuals who sustained damage or losses due to the flooding between December 23, 2015 and January 9, 2016 in one of the Missouri counties included in the disaster declaration may register for disaster aid online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling FEMA’s toll-free registration line at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).

The Governor said the quicker that Missourians register with FEMA, the more quickly they may be able to receive assistance. The deadline for most individual assistance programs is 60 days following the President’s major disaster declaration.

Disaster aid to eligible individuals generally falls into the following categories:

Housing Assistance may be available for up to 18 months for displaced persons whose residences were heavily damaged or destroyed. Funding also can be provided for housing repairs and replacement of damaged items to make homes habitable.

Disaster Grants, which are available to help meet other serious disaster related needs and necessary expenses not covered by insurance and other aid programs. These may include replacement of personal property, and transportation, medical, dental and funeral expenses.

Low-Interest Disaster Loans are available after a disaster for homeowners and renters from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to cover uninsured property losses. Loans may be available for repair or replacement of homes, automobiles, clothing or other damaged personal property. Loans are also available to businesses for property loss and economic injury.

Other Disaster Aid Programs include crisis counseling, disaster-related unemployment assistance, legal aid and assistance with income tax, Social Security and veterans’ benefits.

The Governor said damage assessments are continuing across the state to determine the costs for damage to public infrastructure and emergency response costs for state and local government agencies and nonprofits in responding to the disaster.

The storms led to 16 confirmed deaths and destroyed or significantly damaged nearly 1,000 homes.

Missouri/USDA meetings on flood recovery

USDA agencies in Missouri are holding meetings this week for farmers, landowners and local governments that have damages from recent flooding. Harold Deckerd, with the Missouri Natural Resources Conservation Service, said the NRCS, Farm Service Agency, Rural Development and Risk Management Agencies will have representatives at the meetings to explain flood recovery assistance options for the various damages.

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Missouri/USDA meetings on flood recovery

“Reports of a few levee breaks – we may be able to assist with. We’re limited to a drainage area of 400 square miles. Log jams, debris removal from streams. I think we’ve heard several applicants say they have that,” said Deckerd.

Deckerd said the meetings will be held where the biggest impact was felt.

“A path of rainfall that was probably 60 miles wide that would – if you envisioned I-44, it was pretty well around that I-44 corridor,” said Deckerd.

The area had between eight and 10 inches of rain in about three days.

The first meeting will be Wednesday in Springfield at the Missouri Conservation Department Nature Center at 9 a.m. Another meeting is scheduled for 2 p.m. Wednesday in Rolla at the Comfort Suites Conference Center. The third will be Thursday in Union, Missouri at 9:30 a.m. at the Knights of Columbus building.

Those who can’t attend are urged to call their FSA county office.

Julie Harker of Brownfield Ag News contributed to this story.

Nixon requests major disaster declaration to assist Missourians impacted by historic flooding

Governor Jay Nixon today requested the federal government declare a major disaster for Missouri as a result of the two strong storm systems in late December that brought severe weather and historic flooding to much of the state. The storms led to 15 confirmed deaths and destroyed or significantly damaged nearly 1,000 homes.

Governor Jay Nixon

Governor Jay Nixon

In his request to President Barack Obama, the Governor sought Individual Assistance so eligible residents in 41 Missouri counties can seek federal assistance, such as help with temporary housing and repairs, and to replace household items damaged or lost as a result of flooding. In addition, the Governor is seeking assistance from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to assist impacted businesses in the 41 counties. Those affected by the flooding are encouraged to document losses, including photographing damage and retaining receipts.

The Governor said damage assessments are continuing across the state to determine the costs for state and local government agencies and nonprofits in responding to and recovering from the disaster.

“Even as we continue to tally the costs of emergency response and of repairing roads, bridges and other public infrastructure, I’m asking for federal assistance from FEMA and the SBA to help Missourians with the uninsured losses to their homes and businesses,” Nixon said. “This was historic flooding with devastating impacts on many Missourians, and it will be a long recovery process. A major disaster declaration will help in that effort.”

The 41 Missouri counties are Barry, Barton, Callaway, Camden, Cape Girardeau, Cole, Crawford, Dade, Douglas, Franklin, Gasconade, Greene, Hickory, Howell, Jasper, Jefferson, Laclede, Lawrence, Lincoln, Maries, McDonald, Miller, Morgan, Newton, Oregon, Osage, Ozark, Phelps, Pike, Polk, Pulaski, Scott, St. Charles, St. Francois, St. Louis, Ste. Genevieve, Stone, Taney, Texas, Webster and Wright.

Nixon declared a state of emergency in Missouri on December 27, as heavy rain, flooding and flash flooding impacted the state. The Missouri State Emergency Operations Plan also was activated, allowing state agencies to coordinate directly with local jurisdictions to provide emergency services.

On January 2, the Governor announced that the President had approved his request for a federal emergency declaration to speed debris removal and relieve the strain of response and recovery costs in the St. Louis region. As a result of that request, Nixon announced Operation Recovery, a federal and state debris removal program being coordinated by the Missouri National Guard, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Debris removal has been underway in Franklin, Jefferson, St. Charles and St. Louis counties.

For more information about the debris collection program, visit http://www.mo.gov/flood-recovery, which will continue to be updated as new information becomes available. Residents should follow local guidance for special instructions in assisting and complying with these efforts. The website also contains information about documenting property losses.

Missouri to receive emergency money for post-flood road repairs

Missouri will receive $1-million in emergency relief funds to repair roads and bridges damaged by flooding.

Interstate Highway 44 remains closed in Valley Park, Missouri after the Meramec River reaches new heights during near historic flooding on December 31, 2015. Flooding statewide from three straight days of rain has caused evaucations, road closures and fourteen deaths.    Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

Interstate Highway 44 was closed in Valley Park, Missouri by the flooded Meramec River on December 31, 2015.  Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

The money from the Federal Highway Administration will allow repairs and further damage assessment to take place. Governor Jay Nixon’s office says it will be used in the next few weeks to restore emergency access and begin the most critical repairs.

The Federal Highway Administration said the money is only the first installment of federal relief.

Flooding that began last month forced hundreds of road closures, and some roads still haven’t reopened.

Governor Nixon says damage assessments toward seeking a federal disaster declaration for Individual Assistance are continuing. That would provide federal help for uninsured losses by eligible individuals and households.

The federal government on Saturday approved Nixon’s request for a federal emergency declaration.