Parson requests major disaster declaration to address St. Louis-area flood damage | Politics

JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Mike Parson said he asked for a major disaster declaration Thursday from the federal government for damage caused by recent flooding in the St. Louis area.

A major disaster declaration from President Joe Biden would trigger federal assistance for the city of St. Louis, as well as St. Louis, St. Charles and Montgomery counties, according to a news release from Parson’s office.

The governor’s office said it had asked for assistance for eligible residents in St. Louis, as well as St. Louis and St. Charles counties, which would allow them to apply for federal aid for “temporary housing, housing repairs, replacement of damaged belongings, vehicles, and other qualifying expenses as a result of the flooding and storms.”

Kelli Jones, spokeswoman for Parson’s office, said determining eligibility for assistance is contingent on the federal government’s approval of the state’s application.

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She said if the declaration is approved, the federal government would open a hotline to apply for assistance and for answering questions.

A website and in-person disaster recovery centers would also be opened, with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the US Small Business Administration on site.

The governor’s office had also asked for assistance so that local governments in St. Louis, as well as St. Louis, St. Charles and Montgomery counties, and eligible nonprofits, could apply for federal aid.

The news release said the cost of the emergency response as well as uninsured infrastructure damages associated with the flooding totaled more than $35 million.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

Damage assessment teams examined 1,338 homes and found that more than 750 of them had “sustained major damage,” the news release said.

Of 206 businesses inspected, 131 had sustained major damage, according to the news release.

The release said assessment teams included members of the State Emergency Management Agency, US Small Business Administration, Federal Emergency Management Agency and local officials.

In addition to the federal disaster application, a Multi-Agency Resource Center will be open until 8 pm Thursday at the Centennial Commons in University City, 7210 Olive Boulevard, the release said.

Another center will be open 3 pm to 8 pm on Friday, and 10 am to 5 pm on Saturday, at the Friendly Temple Church, 5515 Dr. Martin Luther King Drive.

The state said the American Red Cross is operating a shelter for those displaced by the flood at St. Vincent Community Center, 7335 St. Charles Rock Road, in St. Louis.

More information for those in need of help was available by calling “2-1-1,” a phone number hosted by the United Way. Information was also available at 211helps.org.

Recovery.mo.gov also contains information, including for businesses looking to reopen, by clicking on the “Get Back In Business” tab.

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