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Nixon requests federal aid for $18.2 million of flood damages across 14 counties


ST. LOUIS — During a visit today with officials Laclede County about the devastation from flooding earlier this month, Gov. Jay Nixon requested federal public and individual assistance for flooding victims in 14 central and southern Missouri counties.

Laclede County commissioner Danny Rhoades said the Federal Emergency Management Agency Preliminary Damage Assessment estimated $774,881 in public (non-residential) damages in his county — one of the hardest-hit areas — alone.

On a larger scale, the estimate for destroyed public assets reaches $18.2 million, Nixon told The Missouri Times Wednesday evening at an event.

FEMA, Missouri State Emergency Management Agency and local officials conducted joint damage assessments in 22 counties.

Laclede is among the counties for which both public and individual assistance has been requested. The others are Barry, Camden, Dallas, Maries, McDonald, Miller, Osage, Ozark, Phelps, Pulaski, Taney, Texas and Webster. Public assistance has been requested for four counties, including Cedar, Dade, Shannon and Wright. Nixon is requesting individual assistance only for Dent, Gasconade, Morgan and Polk counties.

“We need it but if we don’t get it we’ll survive,” Rhoades said. This is the fifth disaster Rhoades has witnessed in his six-and-a-half years as county commissioner.

Nixon said he thinks the chances are “good” that the state will secure the federal funding as members of federal groups, such as FEMA, have been involved during the different assessments. The next steps of the timeline in terms of the announcement that the state will receive aid could come within the next few weeks, he said.