(The Center Square) – Missouri Republican Gov. Mike Parson said the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) should be able to submit his documentation on Wednesday for the St. Louis region to be declared a disaster area.
More than nine inches of rain fell during a three-day span last week in central and eastern Missouri. On July 29, Parson ordered the State Emergency Management Association (SEMA) to deploy eight emergency coordinators to work alongside local officials to begin documenting damage to homes and businesses.
Once Parson’s request is submitted through FEMA, President Biden will be able to declare a disaster, resulting in millions of federal dollars to assist public entities and individuals without flood insurance.
“FEMA was on the ground today doing assessments and that’s the most important thing right now,” Parson said. “We need to make sure we don’t leave anybody out and make sure we have the total numbers on what we feel the damage was.”
Parson, state legislators representing the region and numerous local leaders met to review the situation with SEMA and FEMA representatives at the University City Fire Station, which sustained flood damage last week.
Andrea Spillers, a FEMA regional administrator, joined Parson and thanked state and local officials for doing initial assessments.
“We are on the ground today going to every single neighborhood identified as being impacted by the flood,” Spillers said. “We are documenting and capturing all of the damage to individual households. We’ve seen flooded homes and basements. We also have damage assessments for public infrastructure. We will act very fast to make sure we have thoroughly vetted the documents and get that to the President.”
Parson answered those asking why FEMA wasn’t immediately present in Missouri but was in in Kentucky when deadly floods occurred last week.
“That was a different declaration in Kentucky because they asked for people to come help – first responders,” Parson said. “Other states did respond to that and sent people on the ground to Kentucky, which was over a five-county area of total devastation.”