COLUMBIA, Mo. -- As of April 17, more than $17 million has been obligated to the state of Missouri by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) under its Public Assistance grant program for costs associated with the two severe winter storms that swept through the state. The $17,296,796 obligation represents the federal share of the cost of eligible work submitted for reimbursement to date by applicants throughout the declared jurisdictions.
The Public Assistance grant program provides funding in two primary areas: Emergency Work, essential life saving, life sustaining and property damage preventative activities and Permanent Work, the repair, restoration, reconstruction or replacement of public facilities or infrastructure damaged or destroyed by a disaster. In the case of Missouri’s winter storms, the majority of work and funding falls under Emergency Work – i.e., debris removal and emergency protective measures.
Missouri received two presidential disaster declarations as a result of winter storms: the first for the storm that occurred between November 30 and December 2, 2006; the second, for storm damages that occurred January 12-22, 2007. In all, 44 Missouri counties and the City of St. Louis are declared for one or both events. Within those designated areas, 575 jurisdictions have submitted Requests for Assistance.
Debris operations are approaching completion as crews have picked up and disposed of more than 6 million cubic yards of vegetative debris, mostly tree limbs, branches, and stumps broken by the ice. To date, FEMA has obligated more than $4.5 million to fund debris operations.
Funding for emergency protective measures – actions taken by applicants to save lives, protect public health and safety, and prevent damage to improved public and private property – in the two declarations now exceeds $3.9 million.
In the area of Permanent Work, almost all of the funding is being provided to public utility companies to repair and restore hundreds of miles of electrical distribution and transmission lines, and to repair and replace poles, cross arms, transformers, meters and associated hardware. To date, more than $8.1 million has been obligated for utilities.
FEMA’s Public Assistance program provides financial assistance to state and local governments and eligible non-profit organizations for disaster-related cleanup and repair of damaged facilities to pre-disaster condition. FEMA pays 75 percent of eligible costs; the state of Missouri and the applicant share the remaining amount. The State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) manages the program and reimburses applicants for their eligible costs.
FEMA coordinates the federal government’s role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.