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FEMA/SEMA In Knox County For Preliminary Damage Assessment
By Echo Menges
Representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) and the State Emergency Management Administration (SEMA) were in the Knox County Commissioner’s Chambers Wednesday, February 16, 2011 to do a preliminary damage assessment of the local bodies of government’s added expenses involved with the severe winter storm, which hit Knox County February 1 and 2.
FEMA and SEMA officials are moving across 60 Missouri counties gathering information from local government officials to help determine whether state, county and city governments are eligible for partial reimbursement of the money they spent during and after the storm on things like snow removal, equipment and overtime.
If the state and federal assessors find $7.2 million or more was spent within the 60 counties throughout the state on just the one snowstorm Missouri Governor Nixon will be able to submit a request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration to President Obama. If the President grants and signs the declaration federal aid money would become available to help pay state, county and city governments back some of their expenses.
In order for Knox County and the cities and townships within Knox County to be eligible for FEMA assistance if and when a Presidential Disaster Declaration is issued assessors must first find at least $14,260.47 was spent within the county by the county and city governments between January 31 and February 7, 2011. So far the Knox County Commissioners say Knox County had over $42,000 of added expense because of the severe winter storm, which does not include what the state spent assisting Knox County or what the individual cities and townships spent during and immediately following the storm.