Gov. Mike Parson has requested President Donald Trump’s approval of a major federal disaster declaration for 19 Missouri counties damaged by storms last month. Joint preliminary assessments estimate more than $9.3 million in damage to public infrastructure from storms that hit the state on May 3 and 4. The counties affected are mostly in southeast Missouri, but also include ones in western, southwest and southern Missouri.

U.S. Capitol dome

Poplar Bluff-based Ozark Border Electric Cooperative in southeast Missouri described the storms as the worst to hit the region since the 2009 ice storm. KFVS-TV in Cape Girardeau reported more than 10,000 residents across the region were without power for a time. An EF-1 tornado also swirled through the Bootheel town of Marston.

The governor is requesting public assistance for Bates, Butler, Carter, Dallas, Douglas, Dunklin, Henry, Hickory, Howell, Laclede, New Madrid, Oregon, Pemiscot, Polk, Ripley, Shannon, Stoddard, Wayne and Wright counties.

“Our local, state, and federal assessment teams have documented extensive damage to electric power systems and other public infrastructure as a result of the severe storms,” Parson says in a press release. “Our Missouri communities are already strapped by emergency response costs because of COVID-19. I am confident federal assistance will be forthcoming.”

If a federal declaration is approved, local governments and qualifying nonprofits could request federal aid for emergency response and recovery costs of public infrastructure damaged.

State and federal emergency management agencies conducted virtual damage assessments due to COVID-19.

Earlier story:
Power restored in southeast Missouri’s Portageville; storms described as worst since 2009

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