Disaster Recovery Moving at Expedited Pace for Missouri Communities as 1-Year Anniversary of Historic 2017 Flooding Approaches

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April 26, 2018
Pace of approval of local recovery projects is 3 times faster than for Missouri’s previous flooding disaster, as more than $56 million in assistance has been approved and flowing to Missouri communities.

Beginning on April 28, 2017, Missouri was inundated by historic flooding that affected thousands of families as it pushed  rivers and streams to unprecedented crests and flooded homes and businesses in areas that had never before flooded. It would become the state’s costliest disaster since the Joplin tornado of 2011, and lead to a federal major disaster declaration that included 55 of Missouri’s 114 counties.

As the one-year anniversary of the disaster approaches, local recovery projects have been approved at three times the pace of Missouri’s most comparable flooding disaster, in 2015, with more than $56 million in assistance already approved and flowing to Missouri communities.

“Cutting down on the time government takes to process paperwork means Missouri communities get the funding they need to rebuild roads, bridges and other critical infrastructure as soon as possible,” said Governor Eric Greitens. “That means people can rebuild, businesses can grow, and families can recover. One of our priorities when I took office was strengthening the state’s ability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters. I appreciate all the hard work our state team and local governments are doing. It is making a difference for Missouri families.”

  • As a result of the 2017 flooding, about 225 different local governments and non-profit agencies filed for federal assistance with Missouri’s State Emergency Management Agency for a total of almost 1,000 different recovery projects like road repairs and rebuilding small bridges.
  • The total cost of these projects is now estimated at $114 million.
  • The federal share of these recovery projects is expected to surpass $85 million (the federal government pays 75 percent of approved project expenses).
  • The state of Missouri pays 10 percent of approved project expenses or potentially as much as $11.4 million. 
  • Through April 16, more than 90 percent of projects and $56.2 million in funding had been approved and flowing to local governments following the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s strict application process, which includes formulating and budgeting for each separate project, federal reviews to ensure compliance with all statutes, and final FEMA review and approval. 

“The Department of Public Safety and SEMA worked closely with FEMA to implement a new procedure to more efficiently and accurately process assistance applications from Missouri communities,” DPS Director Drew Juden said. “Because of their hard work, within the first six months, 34 percent of recovery projects had been fully approved. That compares with just 11 percent approval at the six-month mark for the federal disaster that resulted from a similar but smaller flood in December 2015.”

The Governor and Director Juden emphasized the importance of homeowners, renters and businesses insuring their homes against flooding, since standard homeowner and renter policies do not include flood insurance.

The latest figures from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) show that as a result of the 2017 flooding, 1,189 NFIP policy holders have received total payments of more than $67.5 million, with an average payment of almost $57,000. Generally, flood insurance payments are not only far larger the FEMA disaster assistance payments, but can paid without a federal disaster is being declared.

Here are some of the reasons Missourians are urged to consider investing in flood insurance:

  • $19 million was paid to policyholders before the federal disaster was declared (flood insurance pays even when there is no disaster declaration.)
  • 26 percent of NFIP claims filed were NOT in a Special Flood Hazard Area.
  • Homeowners are 85 percent more likely to use a flood insurance policy during the span of a 30-year mortgage rather than a homeowner’s policy.
  • If you live in an area with a high risk of flooding, you have a 25 percent chance of your home being flooded over a 30-year mortgage.