© 2022 St. Louis Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

FEMA teams in St. Louis to assess damage from tornadoes

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)
Resident Ron Henderson walks away from his home, totally destroyed, three days after a tornado devastated this area of Bridgeton, Missouri on April 25, 2011. Teams from FEMA are now in the St. Louis area to assess damage from last week's tornadoes.

Representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency are on the ground in St. Louis to assess the damage from last week's tornadoes. Their findings will be part of Missouri's request for Federal assistance.

FEMA investigators are gathering data on a variety of factors-including the number of displaced people, effects on the local economy, and how much property was uninsured.

Josh DeBerg is a spokesperson for FEMA. He says the main criteria for federal aid boils down to a question of resources.

"The question that the state and FEMA are trying to answer is - 'Is this disaster, this incident beyond the ability of state and local governments to respond to and recover from?'" DeBerg said.

DeBerg says it's still too early to answer that question.  Governor Jay Nixon is expected to ask the Obama Administration for a disaster declaration.

When federal disaster declarations are issued, the federal government typically covers about 75 percent of the costs of responding.

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill was part of a delegation meeting with the FEMA investigators.

McCaskill says part of the process involves determining how much of the damage is covered by insurance.

"So that is the estimations we’re trying to make right now, across the county-how much damage is there that's not going to be covered by insurance," McCaskill said.

McCaskill notes that most people with mortgages are required to carry insurance by their banks.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon is expected to request a federal emergency declaration from the President later this week.

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.