Missouri Delegation Supports Request For Disaster Declaration
Missouri's entire Congressional Delegation today sent a letter to the President asking him to give "all due consideration" to Missouri Governor Matt Blunt's request for federal disaster assistance for those counties affected by the storms and subsequent flooding.
Severe storms and flooding hit Missouri on May 5th and continued through May 18th. The Missouri Congressional Delegation asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to expedite the preliminary damage assessment on May 11th.
Based on those assessments, 19 counties are on the list for a Disaster Declaration for Public Assistance: Andrew, Atchison, Bates, Carroll, Cass, Chariton, Daviess, Gentry, Grundy, Harrison, Holt, Howard, Livingston, Mercer, Nodaway, Platte, Ray, Saline and Worth.
In addition, Blunt has requested a Disaster Declaration for Individual Assistance for the following 17 counties: Andrew, Atchison, Buchanan, Carroll, Chariton, Clay, Daviess, DeKalb, Gentry, Holt, Jackson, Lafayette, Livingston, Morgan, Nodaway, Osage and Platte.
"Missouri homeowners, business owners, and farmers are working to recover from this natural disaster and federal assistance is crucial. It is very important that Missourians receive this assistance to repair the damage as quickly as possible," said U.S. Senator Kit Bond.
"Farmers' crops were jeopardized and community infrastructure was damaged because of the recent flooding, and some Missourians even lost their homes," U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill said. "Federal assistance would go a long way towards helping communities and individuals affected by the flooding put their lives back in order."
"Many Missourians have had their lives turned upside down," said U.S. Congressman Sam Graves. "Now is the time for federal assistance to help them put their lives back on track."
"After years of drought, just a few days of heavy rain this spring has saturated soil and filled area streams and rivers over their banks. Sadly, we have seen this type of flooding before. Those of us who grew up along the river understand how dangerous it can be. And, for all Missourians who experienced the devastating flood of 1993, this latest flooding situation reminds us of the perils of Mother Nature's fury. I support the Governor of Missouri's request for federal disaster declarations. I urge the President to give this request due consideration so that Missourians can promptly begin to restore their property and rebuild their lives," said U.S. Congressman Ike Skelton.
"Missouri is all too familiar with both the prosperity and the devastation our rivers can bring. I was Mayor of Kansas City during the Flood of 1993 when the eyes of the nation watched as the heartland submerged. For some, the floods of a few weeks ago rival the destruction of the deadly waters of 1993. With that kind of scope in mind, I hope the President acts quickly to answer the call of the Governor and declare a major disaster to bring federal money to assist our communities who have lost so much," said U.S. Representative Emanuel Cleaver II.
"This spring's flooding has had a devastating impact on communities along the Missouri River and they need assistance as soon as possible," U.S. Representative Kenny Hulshof said. "Federal aid will help bolster the relief efforts of state and local officials. It is my hope that the Administration will act upon this request quickly."
"I appreciate the Governor's response to the recent damaging weather and flooding that has affected parts of our state. The speedy review of this request for assistance will benefit many Missouri families who have experienced catastrophic losses in the wake of these events. We are no strangers to floods in Southeast Missouri, and these are important times for our state delegation to come together in support of those who are in the midst of a very difficult situation," said U.S. Representative Jo Ann Emerson.
The text of the letter follows.
May 31, 2007
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
The White House
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Mr. President:
We are writing in support of Governor Blunt's request for a major disaster declaration as a result of the severe storms and flooding in our home state of Missouri during the period of May 5-18, 2007. Specifically, we support the Governor's request for individual assistance, public assistance, and hazard mitigation to help the communities affected by the devastating floodwaters.
As you are aware, the National Weather Service has stated that this event "looks to be about the 3rd worst flood on the Missouri, Grand, and Platte Rivers in the past fifty (50) years and in the top 10 worst floods on the Missouri in the past 100 years." The citizens of Missouri need immediate assistance to recover from this terrible disaster. All available state and local resources are being fully committed to response and recovery efforts. However, preliminary damage assessments indicate that the damage from this flooding is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the state and local governments and Federal assistance is needed.
Mr. President, thank you for giving Governor Blunt's request all due consideration. We are confident that Missouri, with Federal assistance, quickly will recover from the devastating floods.
Christopher S. Bond Claire McCaskill
Sam Graves Kenny Hulshof
Russ Carnahan JoAnne Emerson
W. Todd Akin Emanuel Cleaver II
Wm. Lacy Clay Ike Skelton