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Parson calls on FEMA to assist with flood damage assessments 

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — After heavy rains rocked the state in late June, Gov. Mike Parson is requesting help from the federal government to prepare for an official request for disaster assistance. 

Parson called on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to assist in Preliminary Damage Assessments (PDAs) in 17 counties. The teams will survey the damage of last month’s storms and flooding in preparation for an official request for assistance. 

“The extremely heavy rains that affected Mid-Missouri in late June resulted in flash flooding that caused significant and costly damage to roads, bridges, and other public infrastructure,” Parson said. “[Missouri State Emergency Management Agency] has continued to communicate with our local partners about damage estimates, and it is clear that a number of counties have sustained high levels of destruction and response costs and that Missouri is approaching the levels required to qualify for federal disaster assistance.”

The surveys will be conducted in Andrew, Boone, Buchanan, Caldwell, Callaway, Carroll, Chariton, Clinton, Cooper, Holt, Howard, Lincoln, Livingston, Moniteau, Montgomery, Ray, and Saline counties. Additional counties will likely be added to the request, according to the Governor’s Office. 

Storms caused extensive flash flooding in some parts of the state in the latter part of June, making their way to the capital city as the legislature reconvened for a special session. Flash flooding waylaid drivers and led to power outages across central Missouri. 

If approved, the Joint Damage Assessment teams will be made up of local emergency personnel, FEMA, and the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA). Teams survey local storm damage and estimate recovery costs. 

The survey would be the first step toward a Federal Emergency Declaration from the president, which requires certain damage thresholds on both a state and county level. 

The federal government approved a similar request after severe flooding in 2019, providing assistance to 25 counties impacted by the storms. However, Missouri is recovering at a pace faster than in past years, according to Parson.