Many Southern Missouri Counties Listed Under Disaster Declaration Request

Jul 21, 2015

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has requested the federal government to declare a major disaster declaration for more than half of Missouri’s 114 counties, including much of the Ozarks.

The 70 total counties listed suffered prolonged severe storm systems from tornadoes and straight line winds to torrential rain and flooding, which resulted in 10 deaths.

Drainage along Highway 14 in Ozark into the Finley River in early July. Christian County is among 68 counties in Missouri for which Gov. Nixon is seeking a major disaster declaration.
Credit Scott Harvey / KSMU

In southwest Missouri, hundreds of thousands in damages has been estimated for area counties, mainly due to flooding over the past couple of months. Local counties included under the declaration request for public assistance include Barry, Christian, Stone, Taney and Webster, among others. In addition, Gov. Nixon is seeking individual assistance for several southern Missouri counties.

See the entire list of counties Nixon has placed under the disaster request.

Individual assistance means that eligible individuals and households can seek federal assistance for uninsured losses from severe weather and flooding. Public assistance allows local governments and eligible nonprofit agencies to seek assistance for response and recovery expenses associated with the severe weather and flooding.

“Beginning in mid-May, more than half of Missouri has been hit by a damaging and prolonged weather system that’s brought record rainfall to much of the state and led to extensive damage to public infrastructure and private property and led to tragic deaths,” Gov Nixon said in a statement. “Communities across the state have been hit with extensive response and rebuilding expenses. I’m asking that federal assistance be available to help with that effort.” 

Phil Amtower is the Christian County emergency management director. He says Tuesday’s request means Missouri officials have completed their damage assessments, and believe that they have enough damage in dollars, to warrant a federal declaration. Amtower told KSMU last week that based on damage to his jurisdiction, he believes Christian County would be eligible for the declaration.  

He adds that this package is now on the way to President Obama, who will have the final say on whether or not to declare the disaster. If one is declared, counties can then become eligible for reimbursement. 

By first declaring a state of emergency on June 18, Nixon activated the State Emergency Operations Center and enabled the state to mobilize its resources, including the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to assist local authorities. Last week, the governor extended the state of emergency until Aug. 14.