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story.lead_photo.caption FILE: Missouri Gov. Mike Parson speaks during a briefing Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021. Photo by Missouri Governor's Office

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved Missouri's request for a major disaster declaration, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced in a press release Thursday.

A total of 21 counties — Moniteau County included — will receive federal assistance in response to severe storms and flooding beginning in late June and continuing through July 1. The Governor's Aug. 13 request included $10 million in qualifying disaster-related expenses that had already been identified.

"FEMA's approval of our request means millions of dollars in federal and state reimbursements will now go to hard-hit communities in 21 Missouri counties," Gov. Parson said in the release. "We appreciate the hard work of our local emergency managers and officials to assess the damage and tally expenses to meet the initial federal reporting requirements. Their communities and taxpayers will now benefit from their efforts."

FEMA's approval means local governments and eligible nonprofits in Andrew, Audrain, Boone, Buchanan, Caldwell, Callaway, Carroll, Chariton, Clinton, Cooper, Daviess, Grundy, Holt, Howard, Lincoln, Livingston, Moniteau, Montgomery, Ralls, Ray and Saline counties will receive reimbursements for emergency response costs and repairs to roads, bridges and other public infrastructure.

Moniteau County Presiding Commissioner Mac Finley, for his part, said Thursday it was his understanding that the county still has another set of hoops to jump through before the county commission will have any further information regarding how much in aid funding the county should receive and what those dollars will be used on. Finley said earlier meetings between FEMA and county officials were preliminary, so the next set will dig "much deeper" into the details of Moniteau County's request.

"It will be some time before we will know what will actually be approved," Finley said in a message to the Democrat.

Missouri's request to FEMA was for damage and emergency response costs incurred due to severe storms and flooding from June 19 to July 1. FEMA's major disaster declaration notification, received on Sept. 1, was for the period of June 24 to July 1. State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) has already begun efforts with the federal government to expand the incident period to include June 19-23 in order to maximize financial assistance to Missouri communities and eligible nonprofits, according to the release.

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