TALENT-BOND-EMERSON-BLUNT ANNOUNCE APPROVAL OF FEDERAL DISASTER DECLARATION FOR MISSOURI
Contact: Rob Ostrander 202.224.7627 Shana Stribling 202.224.0309
Thursday, April 6, 2006
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) U.S. Senators Jim Talent and Kit Bond, Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson and Governor Matt Blunt today announced that President Bush has approved the Governor’s request for a federal disaster declaration for affected Missouri counties after severe storms and tornadoes swept through the state March 29–April 2. Talent, Bond and Emerson sent a letter to the President on Tuesday requesting quick approval of the Governor’s request.
“I am very pleased that the President responded quickly to our request,” said Sen. Talent. “The destruction caused by the tornadoes and storms, especially in Caruthersville, is enormous. Missourians are pulling together to help their neighbors clear the debris, recover property and begin the rebuilding process. With this declaration, the federal government is entering a partnership with the communities that have been affected by this disaster. As this new assistance becomes available, we will continue doing whatever we can to help with the recovery.”
“For Missouri communities that have experienced the tragic loss of life and extensive property damage, the President’s approval of this disaster assistance is welcome news,” said Sen. Kit Bond. “It will give communities and individuals the resources they need to start rebuilding their homes and their lives in the wake of these devastating storms.”
“I am thankful that we have the full support and attention this serious situation deserves. This declaration will also open up federal resources to families as they begin the difficult, long process of rebuilding. It will also provide essential support to all of these rebuilding efforts, including the task at hand: clean-up and debris removal,” said U.S. Representative Jo Ann Emerson. “In addition to this declaration, I want to thank U.S. Senators Kit Bond and Jim Talent and Governor Matt Blunt for their swift response to this disaster in the Bootheel. Unfortunately, the federal government, FEMA, and other agencies have had plenty of practice in responding to weather-related disasters in the past year. We must put all that expertise to work right now to help heal the wound caused by this storm.”
“President Bush and his administration have once again answered the call of Missourians in need of assistance on the heels of another devastating round of storms,” said Governor Blunt. “I thank the President for his response and encourage our local communities to take full advantage of this federal assistance.”
The President’s action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals in Pemiscot County. Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
Federal funding also is available to State and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis in the counties of Andrew, Pemiscot, and Pettis for debris removal and emergency protective measures.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said that residents and business can begin applying for assistance tomorrow by registering online at http://www.fema.gov or by calling 1-800-621- 3362.