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FEMA to survey damage from New Year's Eve tornadoes

(Bill Greenblatt/UPI)
Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon walks with resident Anthony Tumminia during a tour of tornado damage in Sunset Hills, Mo. on Jan. 1, 2011. Sunset Hills sustained damage to about 25 homes in a storm Dec. 31, 2010. Tumminia'a home was completely destroyed.

Beginning Tuesday, officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency will survey damage from the New Year's Eve tornadoes that demolished homes and businesses across the state.

FEMA spokesman Josh deBerge says a preliminary damage assessment team made up of federal, state and local officials will begin viewing damage in 9 counties.

“They'll be viewing damage to individual homes and businesses,” deBerge said, “They'll be gathering information to get an idea of the general impact to all the different communities that were impacted by these tornadoes, and identify any other potential needs that could be out in those communities.

deBerge says following the damage assessments, state officials will determine if disaster recovery is within the state and local government's capabilities. The state will then decide whether to request a disaster declaration from President Barack Obama.

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