Missouri appeals partial denial of disaster declaration request

$25 million in damages covered already

MO FEMA requests

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Although flooding and damage assessments are ongoing, the Missouri government said in a request for a presidential disaster declaration there is already ample destruction to warrant additional federal assistance. 

Missouri, following historic river flooding and dozens of tornadoes, has requested a federal emergency declaration twice in the last three months. The first was in April and the second was made on Monday.

In its latest request, the state estimates storms and floods caused at least $14.9 million in damages from April 29 "and continuing."

The first request, which covered damages sustained by floods and severe storms from March 11 to April 16, estimated that $25 million in damages had occurred in 13 counties. President Donald Trump approved providing federal assistance in May for all estimated damage.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), however, denied part of the state's first request.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson requested federal money for damage to individual homes and businesses in five counties. On May 29, the state appealed FEMA's denial of assistance to the Individual Assistance Program, which covers private homes and businesses that were damaged by the same storms and flooding.

The state has added to the total number of homes and business that were severely damaged or completely destroyed by storms and flooding since filing the appeal, according to an official with the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).

In his second request to FEMA, the state asked for individual assistance to homes and businesses in 41 counties, an increase from the five made in his first request.

"In the period since the original request was submitted," the state wrote in the second request to FEMA, "the state of Missouri has been impacted by multiple tornadoes, large scale river flooding, localized flash flooding and subsoil water inundation resulting in ground failure. It is apparent the individuals impacted during the original event sustained ongoing damages and repetitive losses," the state wrote. The entire letter is available in its entirety below.

According to data from SEMA, an estimated 209 Missouri homes have been destroyed from recent storms and flooding, and 744 sustained major damage. About 700 homes sustained minor or no damage.

Caty Eisterhold of Missouri SEMA said the state is still collecting information from individual homeowners, and that the estimates in the state's request for relief may change based on applications from individuals.

Information on how to apply for individual assistance is available on the SEMA website.

Eisterhold said the deadline for individuals to apply for relief is 60 days after the state's request for an emergency declaration is accepted. It's not clear when the federal government may make that decision.

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