President Obama declares Missouri counties federal disasters

By: Heartland News & AP

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) Twenty Missouri counties will be eligible for public assistance now that the state has been issued a major disaster declaration.

The declaration, announced Tuesday, was the result of a severe ice storm Jan. 26-27 in southern Missouri.
Rep. Jo Ann Emerson says public assistance will be available to state and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities.
Nineteen of the counties are in the 8th Congressional District that Emerson represents.
The affected counties include Bollinger, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Carter, Dunklin, Howell, Madison, Mississippi, New Madrid, Oregon, Ozark, Pemiscot, Reynolds, Ripley, Scott, Shannon, Stoddard, Stone, Taney and Wayne.
The following are press releases sent from Missouri Governor Jay Nixon's office and Rep. Jo Ann Emerson's office.
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Gov. Nixon's request for major disaster declaration for counties hit by ice storms granted by President Obama

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - A request by Gov. Jay Nixon for a major disaster declaration for parts of southern Missouri hit by last month's winter storms was granted today by President Barack Obama. The declaration paves the way for counties and local entities affected by the storms to seek millions of dollars in federal funds for disaster-related costs.
"I appreciate the President making this declaration so that our counties and communities can have the help they need in recovering their costs," Gov. Nixon said. "Those local officials responded very quickly to these ice storms, and this declaration will help speed their recovery."
The President's declaration will assist 20 counties in recovering from the damage caused by this major storm.  Those counties are Bollinger, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Carter, Dunklin, Howell, Madison, Mississippi, New Madrid, Oregon, Ozark, Pemiscot, Reynolds, Ripley, Scott, Shannon, Stoddard, Stone, Taney, and Wayne.
On Jan. 30, President Obama granted Missouri an emergency disaster declaration in response to Gov. Nixon's request, allowing the state to receive federal assistance to pay its costs related to the storm. Today's declaration of a major disaster by the President entitles counties and local entities to receive this same federal assistance.
Assessments by the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and its federal counterpart, FEMA, for damages sustained by counties, municipalities,  electric cooperatives and municipal utilities have been determined to be in excess of $193 million.
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WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (MO-08) this afternoon announced that a major disaster declaration has been issued for the state of Missouri as a result of the severe ice storm of January 26th.  The designation makes 20 Missouri counties eligible for Public Assistance (assistance to state and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities), 19 of which are in the Eighth Congressional District Emerson represents.
"I'm relieved we have this designation to take a lot of the financial pressure of this disaster off of our local communities.  Based on what I have seen across our southern tier of counties over the past couple of weeks, public assistance is sorely needed and will be relied upon to clean up after this storm and repair damaged buildings in our communities," Emerson said.  "We've all pulled together during a difficult time - including hardships for some residents still today as a direct result of this storm.  I'm grateful to everyone who has lent a hand to help these last few weeks, especially our first responders, volunteers, and line workers.  I sincerely hope this designation will guarantee a complete response to a tragic storm in the weeks and months of recovery still ahead."
Bollinger, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Carter, Dunklin, Howell, Madison, Mississippi, New Madrid, Oregon, Ozark, Pemiscot, Reynolds, Ripley, Scott, Shannon, Stoddard, Stone, Taney and Wayne Counties are included in the Public Assistance Category.  Meetings and workshops with local governmental and other eligible entities will be held over the next few days with FEMA and Missouri State Emergency Management officials to explain the Public Assistance category in greater detail.
All the counties of Missouri are eligible to apply for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for assistance under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.  Those grants are available to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural hazards.