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Science and the Environment
Covering state lawmakers, bills, and policy emerging from Jefferson City.

Barton, Texas and Webster Counties To Receive Disaster Assistance

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The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will help coordinate recovery operations in the affected areas/Photo Credit:

Three southwest Missouri counties are among 27 who’ve been approved for assistance under a major disaster declaration. KSMU’s Scott Harvey reports.

The designation was announced Friday by Gov. Jay Nixon, which came after President Barack Obama signed off on the request. It comes on the heels of severe storms, straight-line winds, tornadoes and prolonged flooding that affected a large portion of the state in late May and early June.

Webster County Emergency Management Director William Sexton says at one point the northern part of their county experienced as much as seven inches of rain in as little as two hours.

“We had some bridges that were damaged, low water crossings damaged and roadways damaged. With this funding from the declaration, it’s going to allow us to repair the damages that we have and make the places we have accessible to the public again where some of the roads have been blocked off,” Sexton says.

Damages in Webster County totaled around $1 million, Sexton says. The disaster declaration allows his office to apply for funding from the federal government at a 75-25 split, greatly reducing the cost burden on the county and allowing for a quicker recovery.

Classified as a third class county, Sexton says funds in the county are limited, and without state or federal assistance in these instances the wait period on repair projects would be longer.

Barton and Texas counties were among the other local counties to receive disaster declaration status.