President Barack Obama has approved Governor Jay Nixon’s request for a federal emergency declaration. Nixon signed the request this morning after the St. Louis region was hit by record flooding, including along the Meramec and Bourbeuse rivers.
“The fast-rising flood water inundated several thousand homes and businesses and left behind a trail of destruction, debris and refuse that will have to be cleaned up quickly so that rebuilding can begin and the region can recover,” Nixon said.
“I appreciate the debris removal assistance the federal government has agreed to provide, and the speed with which the president responded to our request. Federal assistance with debris removal can help ensure the region moves forward from this historic disaster.”
FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency. Debris removal and emergency protective measures, limited to direct federal assistance, will be provided at 75% federal funding.
Nixon said he’ll ask the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to facilitate the collection and disposal of both debris left behind by flood water and household debris, including construction materials, carpeting, furniture, appliances, etc.
At the state level, the Missouri National Guard will manage the program and coordinate with the federal and local governments. Nixon activated the Guard to help with flood relief efforts on December 29.
The Governor said the Missouri National Guard is experienced in such a program and led the state’s effort in the expedited debris removal program that assisted the recovery of the Joplin area after the 2011 EF-5 tornado there.
On Dec. 30, President Barack Obama called Governor Nixon by phone to offer the federal government’s support in Missouri’s flood fight.