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Missouri will not receive FEMA aid for NYE tornado damage

A truck lays on its side after a possible tornado hit the surrounding area of Sunset Hills, Missouri on Dec. 31, 2010. Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon requested federal aid for recovery efforts, but that request has been denied. (UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon formally requested federal aid for victims of the New Year's Eve tornadoes that hit several areas of the state - but that request has been denied.

On Jan. 14 Nixon issued his request, but, as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has deemed the recovery task within state capabilities:

FEMA wasn't looking at dollar amounts on damage, [FEMA spokesman Josh] deBerge said. Instead, they were focused on these areas: the concentration of damage, the amount already covered by insurance, and the availability of voluntary assistance agencies. Most of the homes and businesses damaged in the storms were already covered by insurance. And federal disaster assistance cannot duplicate insurance, deBerge said.

So, what, if anything, is Nixon doing in reaction to the rejection of FEMA aid?

The Post-Dispatch says that Nixon will instead be "asking the U.S. Small Business Administration to make low-interest loans available to people whose homes and businesses were damaged."

The Governor's office told the paper that appealing the rejection would actually slow down the process of any loan applications submitted to the Small Business Administration.

In related events, a meeting tonight in Fenton aims to give victims of the tornadoes tools to avoid scams and fraud as they recover from storm damage.

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