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Lawmakers Urge President to Issue Disaster Declaration for Flooded Counties

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Senators from both Missouri and Arkansas are urging President Obama to approve federal disaster relief for dozens of counties affected by this month's deadly floods.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Missouri Senators Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt are urging the president for a disaster designation for 22 Missouri counties affected by flooding.

On Wednesday, the senators sent a letter (read above) to President Obama, one day after Gov. Jay Nixon issued a major disaster declaration. The deadly flooding struck between Aug. 2 and 14, 2013.

Twenty-two Missouri counties were assessed; fourteen were included in the disaster declaration request: Barry, Camden, Dallas, Laclede, Maries, McDonald, Miller, Osage, Ozark, Phelps, Pulaski, Taney, Texas and Webster. 

Gov. Nixon says he is also seeking public assistance in four additional counties -- Cedar, Dade, Shannon and Wright -- and individual assistance in four other counties: Dent, Gasconade, Morgan and Polk.

The requests come after joint preliminary damage assessments conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Small Business Administration and state and local agencies.

Individual assistance means that eligible individuals and households can seek federal assistance for uninsured losses from severe weather and flooding; public assistance allows local governments to seek assistance for response and recovery expenses associated with the severe weather and flooding.
McCaskill and Blunt had previously worked together to request federal resources in the aftermath of last summer's historic droughts, as well as in the aftermath of the devastating Joplin tornado in 2011.

"In light of the serious impact of this event on lives and property in the areas that has occurred, it is our sincere hope that you will grant Governor Nixon's request in a prompt manner, to help in the recovery of residents and communities affected by this disaster.  Along with our fellow Missourians, we eagerly await your decision on this request for assistance," their letter Wednesday reads.
On Aug. 6, Gov. Nixon declared a state of emergency because of the flooding, and on Aug. 7 ordered the deployment of Missouri National Guard Citizen-Soldiers to assist local authorities in protecting lives and property from flooding. 


Also Wednesday, U.S. Senators Mark Pryor and John Boozman, along with Congressmen Rick Crawford (AR-1), Tim Griffin (AR-2), Steve Womack (AR-3), and Tom Cotton (AR-4) sent a letter to the president and FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate in support of Governor Mike Beebe’s request for a major disaster declaration for six counties in Arkansas.

The delegation’s letter comes in response to severe storms and flooding in August that caused extensive power outages and storm debris. The state and local communities are working to clean up and rebuild, but federal assistance is needed to fully recover.

"We are writing in support of Governor Mike Beebe’s request for a major disaster declaration for the following counties in Arkansas: Benton, Boone, Carroll, Madison, Marion, and Newton."

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