Federal disaster declared for May flood damage

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. | Home and business owners and local governments dealing with flood damage should get some help from the federal government, Gov. Matt Blunt said Tuesday.

President Bush approved the state’s request for federal disaster declarations following May flooding along the Missouri River, his office said.

Blunt’s request was granted for assistance for residents and businesses in 17 mostly northern and western counties and governments in 19 counties.

The disaster declaration means affected homeowners and businesses in those areas are eligible for low-interest loans and grants to pay for damage to uninsured property, while local governments are eligible for reimbursement for repairs and cleanup costs.

Assessment teams have found that 558 homes and 72 businesses were damaged during the flooding of the Missouri River and its connecting rivers and streams. Teams found more than $29 million worth of damage to local infrastructure.

A disaster declaration for both people with homes and businesses and for local governments was declared in 10 counties: Andrew, Atchison, Carroll, Chariton, Davies, Gentry, Holt, Livingston, Nodaway and Platte.

Declarations for individual assistance only were issued in Buchanan, Clay, DeKalb, Jackson, Lafayette, Morgan and Osage counties.

Declarations for local governments only came for Bates, Cass, Grundy, Harrison, Howard, Mercer, Ray, Saline and Worth counties.

Blunt could ask for help for more counties as damage reports continue to roll in.