WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt sent a letter to President Obama in support of Governor Jay Nixon’s request asking him to declare 40 counties and the city of St. Louis a federal disaster area in the wake of the recent tornadoes and high winds that ripped through the St. Louis area, and severe flooding that has ravaged southern Missouri. The senators stressed that federal assistance is essential to help Missouri communities recover from the severe storms that moved through the state late last month.
The full text of the letter is below.
Dear Mr. President:
On May 5, 2011, Governor Jay Nixon requested a disaster declaration for the State of Missouri as a result of the high winds, tornadoes and severe flooding which have seriously affected the state since April 19. These weather events, which in many cases include record flooding, have resulted in the large-scale destruction of homes, farms, and businesses. This severe weather continues to have a devastating effect on families and businesses across the state. The state and local communities have been and continue to be burdened by the extreme costs that have been incurred in the effort to protect people and property. Therefore, we respectfully urge your speedy approval of this disaster declaration request.
The Governor has included 41 jurisdictions in this request, including forty counties and the independent City of Saint Louis. Significant damage was caused-and in some cases, continues–in each jurisdiction. At this time, joint FEMA/state damage assessments have been conducted in the City of Saint Louis, Saint Louis County, and Saint Charles County. Assessments are currently underway in the other thirty-eight jurisdictions impacted by ongoing flooding.
The severity and magnitude of this disaster, paired with the fact that Missouri has suffered several other natural disasters in the past year, has led the Governor to determine that an effective response to this event is beyond the capabilities of the state and affected local governments.
Again, it is our hope that you will grant Governor Nixon’s request promptly, to help the state and local governments help communities recover from this disaster. Along with our fellow Missourians, we eagerly await your decision on this request for assistance.
Claire McCaskill, United States Senator
Roy Blunt, United States Senator