Washington, DC -- Five counties in southeastern Missouri have been designated for federal disaster aid by the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help local governments recover from the effects of severe storms and tornadoes that struck the area late last month.
FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh said President Bush authorized the assistance under a major disaster declaration signed last night following a review of the agency's analysis of the state's request for federal aid. The declaration covers damage to public property from the storms that occurred over the period of April 24-28.
Under the declaration, Allbaugh said federal funds will be available to the state and affected local governments in the five counties to pay 75 percent of the eligible costs for debris removal, emergency services related to the storms, and the restoration of damaged public facilities. Federal funding also will be available to the state on a cost-shared basis for approved projects that reduce future disaster risks.
The counties designated eligible for the assistance include Bollinger, Butler, Carter, Howell and Madison.
Allbaugh indicated that additional designations may be made later if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments. He named Carlos Mitchell of FEMA to coordinate federal relief operations.
Mitchell said that procedures for requesting assistance will be explained at a series of applicant briefings at locations to be announced shortly in the affected areas.