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State Officials Respond to Tornadoes, Request Federal Assistance

Officials with the State Emergency Management Agency announced today that they have drafted a request for help from the federal government following this weekend's deadly storms. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.

Governor Matt Blunt is expected to sign a request for federal disaster assistance and send it to President Bush.

Missouri's Public Safety Director Mark James told reporters about the request at a press conference Monday.

The director of the State Emergency Management Agency, Ron Reynolds says it takes about 24 hours to receive a response to these kinds of requests.

Reynolds says SEMA is asking the Federal Emergency Management Agency for help.

He says he's confident that FEMA will respond appropriately, even though the federal agency has received widespread criticism for its response to Hurricane Katrina.

In the state capitol Monday, state lawmakers discussed the weekend's storms, both in the hallways and on the floor.

Senator Bill Stouffer told senators about the destruction in his district which spans from just east of Kansas City to just west of Columbia.

Another senator whose spoke about the storms, John Cauthorn of Northeast Missouri called on Missourians to help those who are cleaning up after the storm.

If you'd like to donate or provide volunteer assistance, the State Emergency Management Agency has a hotline for you to call...The number is 1-866-254-0140.