Gov. Jay Nixon today sent President Barack Obama a request for additional federal assistance for infrastructure damage in 46 counties impacted by the severe weather and storms from May 8 to May 16. This is in addition to Gov. Nixon's previous request for a disaster declaration from the federal government.
Damages to public property and infrastructure exceeded $48.7 million in the 46 counties canvassed by the federal/state/local joint damage assessment teams. This amount also includes damages to the public utilities and electric cooperatives, estimated at more than $37 million. Power was finally restored to all citizens over Memorial Day weekend, Gov. Nixon said.
"After the May tornadoes, I saw the damages and visited with citizens and elected officials in Carl Junction, Charity, Fair Grove, Fredericktown, Kirksville and Novinger. On May 20, I asked the President to approve my request for federal disaster declaration. Now that public damage assessments are complete, I am expanding my request to help reimburse local governments for their emergency protective actions, damaged public property, infrastructure and public utilities," Gov. Nixon said.
Based on the damage assessments earlier this week, Gov. Nixon is asking for 46 counties to be declared eligible for public assistance. Those counties are: Adair, Barton, Bollinger, Camden, Cape Girardeau, Cedar, Crawford, Dade, Dallas, Dent, Douglas, Greene, Hickory, Howell, Iron, Jasper, Knox, Laclede, Lewis, Madison, Maries, Marion, Miller, Newton, Oregon, Ozark, Perry, Phelps, Polk, Pulaski, Ray, Reynolds, Ripley, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Saline, Shannon, Shelby, Stone, Sullivan, Texas, Vernon, Washington, Wayne, Webster and Wright.
If the President approves Gov Nixon's request, the federal government will reimburse communities for 75% of their emergency response and eligible recovery activities associated with the May 8-16 severe weather.
On the first day of the storms, May 8, Gov. Nixon declared a state of emergency, which activated the State Emergency Operations Center to aid local communities with resource requests. The Governor issued the declaration after being briefed at the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).
The Governor conducted visits to Carl Junction, Charity and Fair Grove on May 9; to Fredericktown on May 12; and to Kirksville and Novinger on May 14 to meet with emergency responders and to survey the damage himself. To help Missourians clean up after the storms, he issued an executive order to allow temporary waiving of any statutes or administrative rules or regulations in order to serve the interests of public health and safety. Following that order, Department of Natural Resources Director Mark Templeton waived rules regarding burning of downed tree limbs and brush for counties affected by the storm system.