Gov. Mike Parson is preparing to make a federal disaster declaration request for Missouri in response to severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding that began on Saturday, July 29.

Requesting a Preliminary Damage Assessment is the first step Missouri must take before a federal major disaster declaration can be made. The state has requested the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to participate in joint preliminary damage assessments in Adair, Barton, Bates, Benton, Bollinger, Christian, Clark, Crawford, Dade, Greene, Grundy, Henry, Jackson, Knox, Madison, Maries, Mississippi, Morgan, Osage, Ozark, Perry, St. Genevieve, Scotland, Scott, Taney, and Vernon Counties.

“Beginning July 29, a severe weather pattern has repeatedly struck Missouri with damaging winds, tornadoes, and flash flooding, causing extensive damage in 26 counties across the state,” Gov. Parson said. “The State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) has been working closely with local emergency managers and believes the damage clearly warrants the need for FEMA to participate in joint assessments in preparation for a federal disaster declaration request.”

Damage assessment teams are made up of local, state, and federal emergency managers who document storm damage and estimate recovery costs.

On August 4, an EF-2 tornado destroyed or caused major damage to more than 35 homes, a post office, fire station, and several other buildings in Baring, located in northeast Missouri’s Knox County. More than 30 people have relocated from their homes. Also on that day, torrential rain in northeast Missouri’s Adair County led to flash flooding and dozens of emergency calls.

Parson’s office said that hundreds of thousands of Missourians have lost power over the past month due to strong winds downing trees and utility poles.

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