Estimated damage to infrastructure in Howard County is $3 million and counting, well above FEMAs threshold for public assistance.
The federal government agreed on Monday to pay much of the cost to repair flood-damaged infrastructure in 68 Missouri counties.
It has yet to approve public assistance for Boone, Cooper, Howard or Callaway counties.
The declaration will provide help financing repairs to infrastructure like roads and bridges damaged by flooding. Local officials in the Mid-Missouri counties left out of the initial declaration are confident they’ll be approved later.
Rain and heavy snow melt in the upper Midwest caused the Missouri River to surge at the end of May, punching holes in levees in Howard County, and washing out miles of farmland in the river bottoms from Petersburg to Rocheport. Bottomland and part of Wooldridge were flooded in Cooper County, as was land in the Hartsburg bottoms in Boone County.
After a declaration, FEMA reimburses state and local governments for 75 percent of their repair costs, with the state paying 10 percent and local governments paying 15 percent, said Caty Eisterhold, State Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman.
Boone, Cooper, Howard and Callaway counties were not included in the initial request or declaration but are on a list of counties that could be added once they are ready for preliminary damage assessments, Eisterhold said.
Howard County EMA Co-Director Bill John said the county’s damages totaled more than $3 million. That is well above FEMA’s threshold for public assistance. There are still seven county roads under water that haven’t been assessed, and John said the state will likely wait to assess those before it asks for assistance for Howard County.
FEMA’s threshold for public assistance is $3.78 worth of damage per capita, based on the 2010 census, which means:
Boone County would need to report at least $616,775 worth of damage
Callaway County would need to report at least $167,480 worth of damage
Cooper County would have to report at least $66,775 worth of damage
Howard County would have to report at least $38,363 worth of damage
Infrastructure in Glasgow will need significant repairs. It’s sewage treatment lagoons were completely submerged and are filled with sand, John said. They must be cleaned before repairs. The bridge over Greggs Creek at Stump Island Park will probably have to be replaced, because the river shifted a support beam under it, he said.
Roads in southern Howard County were also severely damaged. Near Lisbon, a 300-foot section of a county road completely washed out. It will cost the county $398,000 to fix, John said.
To repair just Howard County’s portion of the Katy Trail will cost about $300,000, John said. Much of the damage in Boone County was to the Katy Trail, said Haley Campbell, a mitigation and recovery specialist for Boone County EMA.
Roads and bridges in Boone County also had significant damage, including the bridge on Hartsburg Bottom Road, and Harold Cunningham Road, along the Bonne Femme Creek near Easley, said Campbell.
Campbell couldn’t provide an estimate of how much damage there was to Boone County infrastructure but said she was confident the county would meet the FEMA threshold for public assistance.
Randolph, Macon, Cole, Saline and Chariton counties were included in the Monday declaration and are all eligible for public assistance.
Randolph County reported $310,000 worth of damage to roads and bridges, according to according to the request for aid SEMA submitted to FEMA. Chariton County reported $34,100 in damage, and Macon County reported $73,303, all to roads and bridges. Saline County reported $356,762 in damage to emergency protective measures.
Roads and bridges, buildings and equipment, and utilities were the major areas where state and local governments reported damages, accounting for $38 million of the $49 million reported in total.
Cole County, damaged by flooding and a tornado, reported $1.8 million in damage. That includes $900,000 for debris removal, almost half of the $2 million total debris removal cost recorded in the state-wide request. The county also reported $420,000 of damage to utilities.
State agencies accounted for $23.3 million, almost half of the total damage reported. Eight counties reported over $1 million in damage, including Webster, Pemiscot, Miller, Holt, Cole, Camden and Buchanan counties. Jackson County reported $4.9 million in damages, all to utilities, far more than any other individual county.
The public assistance declaration announced on Monday is separate from the individual assistance declaration that President Donald Trump approved July 9.
Individual assistance is for people whose homes and other private property were damaged or destroyed. People in the 20 counties approved for individual assistance can apply for federal aid for things like temporary housing, housing repairs and replacing damaged property. FEMA determines eligible counties based on how many uninsured and underinsured homes were damaged or destroyed, and don’t account for damage to farmland or agricultural structures, Eisterhold previously said.
In Mid-Missouri, flood-affected residents of Boone, Cole and Chariton counties are eligible to apply for individual assistance. Cooper, Howard and Saline counties were left out of the initial declaration, which authorities then said was likely because FEMA wasn’t able to complete damage assessments.
FEMA returned to Cooper, Howard and Saline counties last week to re-assess damage. The agency has yet to determine if it will make them eligible for individual assistance, said FEMA spokesman Michael Cappannari on Tuesday.
In Howard County, FEMA assessed four additional residences last Wednesday, including Riverscene, two in Old Franklin and one in Petersburg, said Howard County EMA Co-Director Bill John. His gut feeling is that Howard County won’t be approved for individual assistance because FEMA didn’t see much more damage than they did on their first assessment, he said.