Gov. Nixon requests federal government to cover 100 percent of public assistance costs in response to natural disasters in Missouri | Governor Jay Nixon

Gov. Nixon requests federal government to cover 100 percent of public assistance costs in response to natural disasters in Missouri

June 3, 2011
Jefferson City, MO

Gov. Jay Nixon today requested that the federal government cover 100 percent of the costs associated with public assistance in the wake of storms and floods that have hit Missouri since April 19. At a minimum, Gov. Nixon requested that the federal government adjust its typical cost-share arrangement for public assistance to allow for a 90 percent federal match, with a 10 percent match from the state and local governments.

Under the federal Public Assistance Program, the Federal Emergency Management Agency typically covers 75 percent of the uninsured costs associated with recovery and repair for public buildings and infrastructure. Non-federal agencies, including the state and local governments, must then provide a 25 percent match. 

In his request to Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, Gov. Nixon stressed the historic devastation caused by tornadoes, high winds, hail and flooding across Missouri in recent weeks, especially in the City of Joplin and in southeastern Missouri, where thousands of acres were flooded after the intentional breach of the Birds Point levee. He noted that federal, state and local agencies continue to work with volunteer and non-profit groups on critical response and recovery efforts, and that the full extent of the uninsured damage to public buildings and infrastructure is unknown.

Earlier this week, FEMA committed to cover 90 percent of the costs of expedited debris removal in the City of Joplin. 

"Mother Nature has inflicted severe damage and destruction to communities across Missouri this spring," Gov. Nixon said. "We still don't know the total extent of the damage tornadoes, floods and other disasters have caused, but we are committed to recovering and rebuilding from these storms. I appreciate the continued support of our federal partners in these efforts, and this adjusted cost-share would make a real difference for our state. These funds will go directly to rebuilding local communities and moving our entire state forward."

Presidential Disaster Declaration DR-1980 encompasses numerous recent disasters in Missouri, including: the tornado damage in the St. Louis area, including at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport; the flooding in southern Missouri; the intentional breach of the Birds Point-New Madrid levee; and the catastrophic tornado in Joplin. Gov. Nixon's request asks FEMA to adjust its cost-share arrangement so that the federal government covers100 percent of the Public Assistance costs associated with this entire declaration.