Politics
3:29 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Nixon Tours Flood Damage, Discusses Aid With Local Officials

Governor Jay Nixon received a briefing Friday on the flooding situation in West Alton, Mo. Although the small town is still battling floods, a big question now is how to cope with the cleanup costs.

Local officials stressed that the flooding is still at a critical stage, and that the Mississippi is still well over flood level.

But the question of how to handle the costs will have to be answered in the coming weeks. St. Charles County has spent about $1.4 million, but said keeping track of receipts has not been a priority for the past few days.

Nixon says the federal government gets involved in a matching funds situation if the cost to the state is a little more than $8 million.

But the Democratic governor pointed out that the $8 million cost isn't only from this flood, since the state has also been hammered by tornadoes.

"That's contained within it, too. You have this flood event. You also have the flood event in the central part of the state - Jefferson City hit very, very high numbers," Nixon told reporters after the update. "We're working with all the local communities to get those damage assessments, and if we hit those numbers we'll access those dollars."

Nixon praised the numerous volunteers in the area, and offered reassurance that the damaged levees would be fixed.

“When you see the number of volunteers, when you see how law enforcement has done such a great job to keep in control here, it's a hallmark," Nixon said. "But it was a double whammy and it's not over.”

Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter@csmcdaniel