Trump approves disaster declaration for parts of Missouri, bringing funds for repairs

Who’s to blame for the floods?

Residents of Craig, Mo., and Forest City, Mo., are frustrated over flooding.
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Residents of Craig, Mo., and Forest City, Mo., are frustrated over flooding.

President Donald Trump has approved a major disaster declaration request by Missouri Gov. Mike Parson that will provide federal assistance after flooding damaged roads, bridges and other infrastructure, according to an announcement Monday night from the governor’s office.

Parson’s April 24 request said $25 million in qualifying expenses had been identified.

The funds will help pay for infrastructure repair and emergency response costs associated with storms and flooding that swept through parts of the state March 11 to April 16. The declaration includes Andrew, Atchison, Buchanan, Carroll, Chariton, Holt, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Perry, Platte, Ray and Ste. Genevieve counties.

The declaration also makes assistance available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Hazard Mitigation Program to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural disasters.

Parson said the state expects to request other counties be added to the disaster declaration.

The federal government is also reviewing Parson’s request for FEMA assistance to individual residents in Andrew, Atchison, Buchanan, Holt and Platte counties.

Rep. Sam Graves said Trump’s approval of the public assistance was welcome news for northwest Missouri.

“It will go a long way towards helping our communities as they rebuild damaged infrastructure and remove flood debris,” Graves said in a statement. “I’m hopeful we’ll also hear soon on Missouri’s request for individual assistance so individuals devastated by this flooding can receive the help they need as well.”

Parson declared a state of emergency on March 21 as the Missouri and Mississippi rivers surged as a result of rainfall, snow melt and releases from upstream reservoirs.

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Katie Moore covers crime and justice issues for The Star. She is a University of Kansas graduate and was previously a reporter in her hometown of Topeka, Kansas.