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Parson seeks federal disaster declaration in response to June flooding

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Gov. Mike Parson requested a federal emergency declaration to grant aid to the state’s response to June’s severe flooding Friday.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assisted Joint Damage Assessment teams in July, surveying local storm damage and estimating recovery costs through Preliminary Damage Assessments (PDAs) in more than one dozen counties. The teams analyzed the fallout in preparation for the official request, ultimately finding more than $7 million in infrastructure damages across 21 counties. 

An emergency declaration would allow local governments and nonprofits to receive compensation for infrastructure repairs. 

“Due to extremely heavy rains and significant flash flooding in late June, Missouri experienced nearly $7.3 million in damage to roads and bridges alone,” Parson said. “The joint preliminary assessment teams confirmed that a number of counties endured considerable destruction and response costs, exceeding the state threshold to qualify for federal assistance.”

The teams were made up of local emergency personnel along with FEMA and State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) employees and estimated more than $10 million in total damages. 

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. 

Andrew, Audrain, Boone, Buchanan, Caldwell, Callaway, Carroll, Chariton, Clinton, Cooper, Daviess, Grundy, Holt, Howard, Lincoln, Livingston, Moniteau, Montgomery, Ralls, Ray, and Saline counties were impacted by the storms.

The federal government approved a similar request after severe flooding in 2019, providing more than $4 million in assistance to 25 counties impacted by the storms. While the state continues to grapple with the impacts of the storms years later, Parson said Missouri is recovering at a faster pace than in past years.