|
|
The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • FEMA, SEMA tour flood-affected areas

  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) officials were in Phelps County Thursday, touring areas that were affected by the recent floods.
    • email print
      Comment
  • »  RELATED CONTENT
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) officials were in Phelps County Thursday, touring areas that were affected by the recent floods.
    The state and federal agency representatives started out Thursday morning meeting with County Clerk Carol Bennett and County Road Superintendent Walter Snelson, along with Presiding Commissioner Randy Verkamp and District One Commissioner Larry Stratman. District Two Commissioner Gary Hicks was absent.
    After that meeting at the county courthouse, the FEMA and SEMA officials were taken to some of the county roads and bridges affected by the flooding. While most of the damage has been repaired, the emergency representatives were given copies of photos that showed how bad things were.
    Snelson originally estimated the flood damage to county roads and bridges at $647,305, but some areas were still underwater at that time.
    Since floodwaters have receded and SEMA and FEMA officials made recommendations, that amount has increased to just more than $700,000, which Bennett called a conservative estimate which could go up more.
    Before a county is eligible to apply for federal assistance, damage in the county must meet a pre-determined threshold amount based on its population, and Phelps County has already exceeded its threshold of $155,788.20.
    However, the state threshold of $8.2 million in damages to public infrastructure must also be met before the governor can call for a disaster declaration and federal assistance can be given.
    Verkamp said about 20 Missouri counties had public infrastructure damage from the flooding earlier this month.
    When Missouri was hit by severe storms, tornadoes and flooding in late May and early June earlier this year, it was not until July 18 when the state received a major disaster declaration.
    Newburg
    In Newburg, Aldermen Dallas McNew and Scott Russell met with state and federal emergency aid officials also on Thursday at the town's city hall.
    "We gave them a tour of the damage around Newburg and they took a lot of pictures," McNew told the Daily News. "We were with them for about two hours."
    Neither state nor federal officials were able to give McNew or Russell an idea if Newburg would receive any monetary assistance. According to McNew, the meeting was more an assessment of damages.
    About 5 to 8 inches of rain fell during the early morning hours of Aug. 7 in Phelps County resulting in serious flash flooding, particularly in the Newburg area, according to the National Weather Service.
    At least 15 homes in Newburg were evacuated and many roads were flooded or washed out. Water rescues also were performed in Newburg, according to the weather service's website.
    Flooding along the Gasconade River and Little Piney Creek also caused both eastbound and westbound lanes of Interstate 44 at mile marker 172 near Jerome to be underwater for a day.
    Page 2 of 2 - The Gasconade River at Jerome reached a new record flood stage at 31.8 feet Aug. 7, according to the weather service. The previous record crest was 31.34 ft on Dec. 5, 1982. On March 20, 2008, the river crested at 30.43 feet at Jerome.
    The campgrounds at Maramec Spring Park south of St. James also were evacuated shortly after 4 a.m. Aug. 7.

        calendar