The Big Piney River west of Houston during the flooding.

Gov. Jay Nixon today requested that the federal government issue a major disaster declaration for several counties — including Texas —  as a result of the severe storms that generated flooding throughout much of the southern portion of the state from Aug. 2 to Aug. 14.

Texas County officials estimated the damage as high as $5 million, which takes into account reports submitted by county townships and some of the late spring round of rain that also caused significant damage.

The governor announced the request during a visit to Conway, which had flood damage to its streets and wastewater treatment system, where he spoke with local elected and emergency management officials.

“Earlier this month, many Missouri communities saw record rainfall that caused rivers and streams to rapidly overflow and leave widespread and extensive damage to homes, businesses and public infrastructure in their wake,” Nixon said. “The cost in responding to the flooding and in repairing public infrastructure and individual property will be high, and it’s appropriate to request assistance with those costs from the federal government.”

The governor said joint damage assessments were conducted in 22 Missouri counties.

“I want to thank emergency response agencies, as well as faith-based and volunteer groups, for their tremendous and immediate response, and local emergency managers and other officials for their efforts over the last few weeks to thoroughly categorize the extent of the damage that was done,” Nixon said.

Nixon’s disaster declaration request is for both public assistance and individual assistance in 14 counties: Barry, Camden, Dallas, Laclede, Maries, McDonald, Miller, Osage, Ozark, Phelps, Pulaski, Taney, Texas and Webster. The governor is seeking public assistance in four additional counties – Cedar, Dade, Shannon and Wright – and individual assistance in four other counties: Dent, Gasconade, Morgan and Polk.

Individual assistance means that eligible individuals and households can seek federal assistance for uninsured losses from severe weather and flooding; public assistance allows local governments to seek assistance for response and recovery expenses associated with the severe weather and flooding.

On Aug. 6, the governor declared a state of emergency because of the flooding, and on Aug. 7 ordered the deployment of Missouri National Guard to assist local authorities in protecting lives and property from flooding.  

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