FEMA approves Gov. Nixon’s request to expand federal disaster declaration to include Missouri communities’ response and recovery expenses

FEMA approves Gov. Nixon’s request to expand federal disaster declaration to include Missouri communities’ response and recovery expenses
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The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today approved Gov. Jay Nixon’s request to expand the federal major disaster declaration for Missouri to include assistance for local governments and nonprofit agencies in 37 counties and the City of St. Louis for the cost of responding to and recovering from the historic flooding that affected the state from Dec. 23 to Jan. 9.

Damage assessment teams identified an estimated $41 million in damage to infrastructure and response expenses for the storms that also led to 16 deaths and destroyed or significantly damaged nearly 1,000 homes. On Jan. 25, the Governor requested FEMA expand the disaster declaration that was granted on Jan. 21.

“From the western to the eastern borders of the state, Missouri was hit by devastating flooding and severe weather that left a trail of destruction to roads, bridges, public structures and other infrastructure, along with significant response costs,” Gov. Nixon said. “This expanded federal disaster declaration will provide vital assistance to communities as they rebuild infrastructure that is essential to residents and businesses as they move their communities forward.”

The 37 counties included in the expanded disaster declaration are: Barry, Bollinger, Camden, Cape Girardeau, Cedar, Crawford, Dade, Dallas, Douglas, Dunklin, Franklin, Gasconade, Greene, Howell, Iron, Jasper, Jefferson, Lawrence, Lincoln, McDonald, Newton, Ozark, Perry, Phelps, Pulaski, Reynolds, St. Charles, St. Clair, Ste. Genevieve, St. Louis, Scott, Stoddard, Stone, Taney, Texas, Washington and Webster, as well as the City of St. Louis.

The expansion granted today allows local and state government, as well as eligible nonprofit agencies, to seek assistance for response and recovery expenses associated with severe weather and flooding.

On Jan. 21, President Barack Obama granted Gov. Nixon’s request for a major disaster declaration to assist residents affected by the flooding. That declaration made available the Individual Assistance program to help eligible residents with temporary housing, housing repairs, replacement of damaged belongings, vehicles and other expenses as a result of flooding, as well as disaster-related unemployment assistance in 33 Missouri counties: Barry, Barton, Camden, Cape Girardeau, Cole, Crawford, Franklin, Gasconade, Greene, Hickory, Jasper, Jefferson, Laclede, Lawrence, Lincoln, Maries, McDonald, Morgan, Newton, Osage, Phelps, Polk, Pulaski, Scott, St. Charles, St. Francois, St. Louis, Ste. Genevieve, Stone, Taney, Texas, Webster and Wright.

Gov. Nixon declared a state of emergency in Missouri on Dec. 27, as heavy rain, flooding and flash flooding impacted the state. The Missouri State Emergency Operations Plan also was activated, allowing state agencies to coordinate directly with local jurisdictions to provide emergency services.

On Jan. 2, the President approved Gov. Nixon’s request for a federal emergency declaration to speed debris removal and relieve the strain of response and recovery costs in the St. Louis region. As a result of that declaration, Gov. Nixon announced Operation Recovery, a federal and state debris removal program coordinated by the Missouri National Guard, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Debris removal has been underway in Franklin, Jefferson, St. Charles and St. Louis counties.

Through Tuesday, Feb. 9, Operation Recovery crews have removed and disposed of more than 98 percent of identified residential debris in participating communities in Franklin, Jefferson, St. Charles and St. Louis counties: 2,675 tons of construction and demolition debris, 1,201 tons of sand, as well as more than 25,000 household hazardous waste items, appliances and electronics items.

Individuals who sustained damage or losses due to the flooding between Dec. 23, 2015 and Jan. 9, 2016 in one of the 33 Missouri counties included in the Jan. 21 Individual Assistance disaster declaration may register for disaster aid online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling FEMA’s toll-free registration line at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). The Governor said the quicker that Missourians register with FEMA, the more quickly they may be able to receive assistance. The deadline for applying for most individual assistance programs is March 21, 2016.