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Disaster assistance available to 104 counties in Missouri

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Federal disaster assistance is available to 104 counties in Missouri through the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).

The amount available is $12 million. This money will be used to aide individuals and families in the specified counties who were affected by the natural disasters of 2008. It will pay for home and foundation repairs, total home rebuilds, debris clean up and other expenses that resulted from natural disasters.

According to SEMA, "The Missouri Department of Social Services applied for and received the grant and it will be administered by SEMA. It is called a Social Services Block Disaster grant and is authorized by the Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance and Continuing Appropriations Act that was signed into law on Sept. 30, 2008. The $12 million must be obligated by Sept. 30, 2010, and all services must be paid by Dec. 30, 2010. Local Long Term Recovery Committees, which are formed at the local level following disaster in Missouri, will assist in identifying projects that will receive the federal funds."

According to SEMA, the grant covers the following presidential declared disasters of 2008: Feb. 10-14 ice storm in southern Missouri, March 17-May 9 floods in southern and eastern Missouri, May 10-11 tornadoes in southwest Missouri, June 1-Aug. 13 floods in many parts of Missouri and Sept. 11-24 floods.

"This state has been hit extremely hard by natural disasters in the last few years. We've had nine presidential declared disasters in Missouri in the past 13 months," Gov. Jay Nixon said. "Many families and communities are still struggling to clean up and make repairs from storms or flooding last year. This federal assistance will help them do that and could provide a boost to local workers, contractors and merchants."

The counties eligible for the funds include Howell and Oregon counties.

Those directly affected by the aforementioned presidential declared disasters with questions can contact their local Long Term Recovery Committees. A list of the committees is posted on www.sema.dps.mo.gov. Click on the link titled, "Long Term Recovery List." Those in counties that do not have a committee set up can contact their case work supervisor. The number for Oregon County's case work supervisor is 573-223-7772.

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