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Gov. Parson requests federal disaster aid


Gov. Mike Parson has asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency to approve a major disaster declaration for Missouri to provide federal assistance to a total of 15 counties in response to multiple incidences of severe weather impacting the state between May 19 and 27.

The storms generated tornados, including those that hit Mtn. View, Birch Tree and Winona, as well as high winds, heavy rain and flooding across southern Missouri. Significant damage was done to homes, businesses and public infrastructure.

“The State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and local partners have been working tirelessly and in close coordination with FEMA to document damage in the areas impacted by these storms,” Parson said on Thursday. “Today, we are requesting a federal disaster declaration to further support the affected communities and their recovery efforts. We are confident federal assistance will be forthcoming and greatly appreciate the critical work already being done by local response agencies and many volunteer partners to help Missourians in need.”

Joint damage assessments done by FEMA, SEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration and local officials estimate more than $20 million in emergency response costs and damage to public infrastructure.

Based on those assessments, Parson is requesting public assistance for Howell, Oregon, Shannon and Texas Counties, along with Barry, Bollinger, Butler, Carter, McDonald, Madison, New Madrid, Reynolds, Ripley, Scott and Stoddard counties.

If approved, public assistance would allow local governments and qualifying nonprofit agencies to seek federal assistance for reimbursement of emergency response and recovery costs, including repair and replacement of damaged roads, bridges and other public infrastructure.

Parson is also requesting individual assistance in 10 counties: Howell, Shannon and Texas counties, plus Barry, Butler, Carter, New Madrid, Ripley, Scott and Stoddard. Of 543 homes assessed in these counties, 171 sustained major damage and 20 were destroyed.

Individual assistance would allow eligible residents to seek federal assistance for temporary housing, housing repairs, replacement of damaged belongings, vehicles and other qualifying expenses.  

Multi-Agency Resource Centers (MARCs), one-stop shops for recovery resources, were hosted in Sikeston on Sunday and Monday, and in Dexter on Tuesday. These MARCs served over 1,000 impacted individuals from 373 households. A fourth MARC is open until 8 p.m. Thursday at Cotttonwood Community Center in Doniphan.

Missourians with unmet needs are encouraged to contact United Way by dialing 211 or the American Red Cross at 800-733-2767. For additional resources and information about disaster recovery in Missouri, including general clean-up information, housing assistance and mental health services, visit recovery.mo.gov.