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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • FEMA says 'no' to local flood victims

  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has denied individual assistance to private homeowners in Phelps County and 17 other Missouri counties from the August floods.
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  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has denied individual assistance to private homeowners in Phelps County and 17 other Missouri counties from the August floods.
    FEMA representatives assessed damages in Missouri that were affected by the severe weather and flooding during the period of Aug. 2-14.
    President Barack Obama earlier this month approved a major disaster declaration request from Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, which allowed 18 Missouri counties, including Phelps County, eligible for public assistance for response and recovery costs.
    The president's action made 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 weather and flooding.
    Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.
    However, a letter from Joseph L. Nimmich, associate administrator from the Office of Response and Recovery at FEMA, states, "The damage of the infrastructure was significant in the areas designated for public assistance. However, based on our review of all the information available, including the results of the joint federal, state, and local government preliminary damage assessment, it has been determined that the damage to the dwellings from this event was not of such severity and magnitude to warrant the designation of individual assistance."
    In addition to Phelps County, other counties in Missouri that were denied were Barry, Camden, Dallas, Dent, Gasconade, Laclede, Maries, McDonald, Miller, Morgan, Osage, Ozark, Polk, Pulaski, Taney, Texas, and Webster counties.
    Nixon has 30 days to appeal the decision.

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