Governor requests major disaster declaration for Missouri

Gov. Jay Nixon on Thursday requested a major disaster declaration for the state of Missouri from President Barack Obama as a result of the high winds, tornadoes and severe flooding that have affected the state since April 19.

“The last two to three weeks have seen large-scale destruction in Missouri, in terms of homes, businesses, farms and other property,” Nixon stated in a news release. “Many families and businesses have suffered because of this severe weather. Counties, communities and the state also have been burdened with extremely high costs to protect citizens and property, and will have high expenses for repairing damage to infrastructure and public buildings.

“I am asking the president to issue a major disaster declaration that would provide assistance both to individuals and public agencies.”

Joint damage assessments have been conducted in the city of St. Louis, St. Louis County and St. Charles County, which sustained tornado damage, and are currently underway in 38 counties impacted by flooding along numerous rivers and streams.

Nixon’s request is for the following counties and the city of St. Louis: Barry, Bollinger, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Carter, Christian, Douglas, Dunklin, Howell, Iron, Lawrence, Madison, Maries, McDonald, Mississippi, New Madrid, Newton, Oregon, Ozark, Pemiscot, Perry, Phelps, Pike, Polk, Pulaski, Reynolds, Ripley, St. Charles, St. Francois, St. Louis, Scott, Shannon, Stoddard, Stone, Taney, Texas, Washington, Wayne, Webster and Wright.

The governor declared a state of emergency in Missouri effective April 22. That order activated the State Emergency Operations Center and enabled the state to mobilize its resources – including the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), the National Guard and Highway Patrol – to assist local authorities.

Since that time, more than 750 members of the National Guard have been mobilized to provide assistance where needed, and some 150 Highway Patrol troopers have been assigned to help with the flooding response in southern and southeast Missouri.