Summer flood victims and state officials are waiting for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to make a key decision so flood recovery can go ahead in 23 counties.

The last of the highways closed by high water in July reopened just last week. But some areas are still hard to get to–and some people are not back in their homes that were flooded in March.

The State Emergency Management Agency is waiting to hear from FEMA before it takes major recovery steps. But it’s complicated.

FEMA says no damage after July 18th can be included in a disaster declaration request. But Governor Blunt asked FEMA two weeks ago today to either reopen the incident period beyond July 18th or approve a new major disaster declaration for the latest flooding.

Spokesman Susie Stonner at the state emergency management agency says a lot of people are waiting for FEMA to do something. "We had over seven million dollars of damages to public infrastructure in counties canvassed after the July 18th flooding period," she says. Stonner says hundreds of citizens also are living outside their homes because they can’t get back into them.

FEMA approved help for 16 counties in the disaster period ending July 18th. The Governor’s now-two-week-old request is for further help for those counties, and seven additional counties.

Stonner says the state agency is in a wait-and-see mode but hopes for a declaration soon so it can help communities fix infrastructure damage and help citizens get back into their homes.

Dowload Bob Priddy’s story (:61 mp3)