January 3, 2008

President Declares Missouri, Scotland County Major Disaster After Ice Storms

The head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Securityís Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal disaster aid has been made available for Missouri to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area struck by severe winter storms beginning on December 6, 2007, and continuing.

FEMA Administrator David Paulison said the assistance was authorized under a major disaster declaration issued for the state by President Bush.

The Presidentís action makes federal funding available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the severe winter storms in the counties of Adair, Andrew, Atchison, Audrain, Barton, Benton, Boone, Buchanan, Caldwell, Callaway, Camden, Cedar, Clinton, Cole, Dade, Daviess, DeKalb, Gentry, Grundy, Harrison, Hickory, Holt, Jasper, Lincoln, Linn, McDonald, Mercer, Miller, Moniteau, Montgomery, Morgan, Newton, Nodaway, Osage, Pike, Putnam, St. Clair, Schuyler, Scotland, Sullivan, Warren , and Worth.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

Paulison named Michael L. Parker the federal coordinating officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area. Parker said that additional designations may be made at a later date after further evaluation.

ďMissouri communities were hit hard this month with ice and winter storms that strained local government very early in the season,Ē said Missouri Governor Matt Blunt. ďI appreciate the Presidentís quick response to my request for new federal resources to help with our recovery from the devastation we encountered.Ē

Ten Preliminary Damage Assessment teams identified over $28.4 million in damages to public infrastructure in the 42 counties. The Disaster Public Assistance program will reimburse jurisdictions for their eligible emergency protective actions, repairs, or replacement of damaged infrastructure and debris clearance.

Gov. Blunt saw first hand damage left by the severe winter storms, visiting Webb City, Lamar, Eldon, Jefferson City, Fulton, Savannah, and Maryville as they worked to recover.

Assistance for the state and affected local governments can include as required:

ē Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, bridges, utilities, buildings, schools, recreational areas and similar publicly owned property, as well as certain private non-profit organizations engaged in community service activities. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)

ē Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for removing debris from public areas and for emergency measures taken to save lives and protect property and public health. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)

ē Payment of not more than 75 percent of the approved costs for hazard mitigation projects undertaken by state and local governments to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural or technological disasters. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)

Application procedures for local governments will be explained at a series of federal/state applicant briefings with locations to be announced in the affected area by recovery officials. Approved public repair projects are paid through the state from funding provided by FEMA and other participating federal agencies.

FEMA coordinates the federal governmentís role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.

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