Gov. Jay Nixon this evening released the following statement regarding the decision by the federal government to deny Missouri's request for an extension of the federal Expedited Debris Removal Program:
"I am extremely disappointed by the federal government's denial of our request for an extension of the Expedited Debris Removal Program. This decision by FEMA dramatically increases the cost burden on state and local governments as we continue our efforts to complete this vital mission. That being said, make no mistake: The state of Missouri will continue to stand with the people of Joplin throughout this process. Together, we will complete this critical work and rebuild this vibrant community.
"When this process began, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) set an arbitrary deadline of 75 days to complete the removal of debris from areas that received extensive or catastrophic damage. We all knew this was a massive project that would require an overwhelming response.
"Together, Missourians have stepped forward to provide that response. Citizen-Soldiers from the Missouri National Guard, local contractors and thousands of volunteers have worked tirelessly and in an orderly fashion to meet this federal deadline. But, based on numbers provided by FEMA and the Corps of Engineers, it has been clear for several weeks that meeting this deadline was unlikely.
"While our cost burden will now increase, our determination will not diminish. Rebuilding Joplin is a mission Missouri will complete."
Gov. Nixon plans to make an announcement regarding the debris removal process tomorrow. More details about the time and location of this announcement will be released when they are available.