Gov. Jay Nixon announced Wednesday that Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has denied individual assistance to private homeowners for 18 counties, including Pulaski, in Missouri for the August flood disaster.
FEMA assessed damages in Missouri that were affected by the severe weather flooding during the period of Aug. 2-14. Last week, President Obama declared the area a disaster area, making assistance available for local governments and certain private, non profit organizations.
Other counties denied for individual assistance include Barry, Camden, Dallas, Dent, Gasconade, Laclede, Maries, Mcdonald, Miller, Morgan, Osage, Ozark, Phelps, Polk, Taney, Texas and Webster.
A letter from Joseph L. Nimmich, associate administrator from the office of Response and Recovery at FEMA, addressed to Gov. Nixon said "the damage of the infrastructure was significant in the areas designated for Public Assistance. However, based on our review of all the information available, including the results of the join federal, state, and local government Preliminary Damage Assessment, it has been determined that the damage to the dwellings from this event was not of such severity and magnitude to warrant the designation of Individual Assistance under FEMA.”
The letter also stated that Gov. Nixon will have 30 days to appeal the decision.
In Thursday's Pulaski County Commission meeting, Pulaski County Emergency Management Director Lawson Smith said that the county plans to appeal the denial of individual assistance and Pulaski County officials plan on meeting with other officials from surrounding counties to appeal the denial.
“Now what we're looking at after the denial of the IA (individual assistance) is the community helping the community,” he said. “We're going to have to really push for and ask for donations to [Pulaski County] COAD and [Good Samaritan of the Ozarks] if we are going to help these people recover.”
Smith said its important for people to give to these two organizations because it stays local.
“COAD is the Community Organization Active in Disaster and Good Samaritan is one of the partners of that,” Smith explained. “By giving the money directly to the Red Cross, for example, it will go to corporate and you can't guarantee it staying here. But if you give to COAD or Good Samaritan, the money will go right here. COAD is the umbrella of all the agencies that are helping.”
Smith said that more than $32,000 has been donated to Good Samaritan.
COAD also serves as the central hub for volunteer coordination.
Pulaski County Emergency Management reported that 1,188 volunteers have spent 7,648.5 hours helping with flood recovery, as of last Saturday.