Twenty days following the beseechment of Gov. Mike Parson on behalf of the Missouri people, President Donald Trump approved a request for federal public aid to 13 flood-affected counties, though individual federal aid had yet to be approved for those who lost their homes, farms and other resources to the Missouri River in April.
According to Buchanan County Emergency Manager Bill Brinton, the approval of Parson’s request only allowed agencies of Andrew, Atchison, Buchanan, Carroll, Chariton, Holt, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Perry, Platte, Ray and Ste. Genevieve counties to receive federal dollars, not those residents who were affected.
“Individual assistance has not been declared, just public assistance,” Brinton said. “I know they’re eagerly awaiting both the Small Business Administration and FEMA, but this is not the part that will help them. But hopefully, it’s right around the corner.
Tom Hollock, Commissioner of Holt County, said the people in his jurisdiction are struggling, with many in the Big Lake area still unable to return home, and farmers losing hundreds of acres’ worth of crops.
“We need that bad,” Hollock said, referring to the FEMA support. “We are so glad to get that money. I just hope we get that individual assistance tacked on to it because there are a lot of people up here that usually aren’t flooded so they don’t carry flood insurance. They thought they were high enough- high and dry- but there were a lot of people who did get flooded.”
While residents wait, agencies that have been working to repair roads, provide shelter and prevent further flooding damage will be reimbursed for their time and resources, helping those agencies recover and aid flooding victims.
“The agencies are spending dollars from their budgets that are not necessarily aimed toward taking care of floods,” Brinton said. “So what will happen is, FEMA will reimburse them for their time and their manpower and use of their trucks. It helps the entities who don’t plan for this and don’t really have the money for it.”
Both Hollock and Brinton said they have yet to hear from FEMA, but are hopeful to make contact by the end of the week. While those meetings are waiting to be made, Parson declared another State of Emergency for Missouri on Tuesday afternoon, exactly two months following the initial declaration.
“Missouri is experiencing a very dangerous severe storm system with multiple threats that must be taken seriously,” Parson said. “The very heavy rainfall yesterday and today, combined with saturated soil and very high water levels on many rivers and streams have created dangerous conditions around the state. I urge all Missourians to closely follow their local weather forecasts, take storm warnings seriously, and quickly act to protect themselves and their families when necessary.”
Along with the declaration, Parson activated the Missouri State Emergency Plan at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, allowing state agencies to work one-on-one with local jurisdictions.
On a local level, U.S. Highway 59 was closed around 2 p.m. due to water over the road; several smaller nearby roads were closed as well.
In Kansas, the heavy rainfall led to mudslides near Wathena and White Cloud with trees, rocks and other debris cover K-7 Highway and Columbus Road. K-7 was closed for the removal of the debris, while the Doniphan County Sheriff Department cautioned drivers to be aware of more falling debris near Highway 36.