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White House issues disaster declaration for portions of Mo., Gov. pledges aid

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)
Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon gets a tour of a damaged neighborhood by Berkeley, Mo. Mayor Kyra Watson in St. Louis on April 23, 2011. A F-4 tornado hit the region on April 22. The White House has issued a disaster declaration for portions of Missouri today.

President Obama has issued a disaster declaration for portions of Missouri affected by recent storms, tornadoes and flooding.

The disaster declaration makes federal funding available to affected individuals in St. Louis, Butler, Mississippi, New Madrid and Taney counties, according to a White House press release. Funding is also available for State and eligible local governments, along with certain private non-profit organizations.

Assistance can range from grants to help with temporary housing and home repairs to low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, along with other programs.

For more information visit DisasterAssistance.gov, or call 1-800-621-FEMA(3362), for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

In related news, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is pledging $25 million of state aid to help communities recover from flooding.

Nixon said Tuesday that the money will help local governments with rebuilding costs and pay for deploying about 800 Missouri National Guard members who helped with the flood response.

The $25 million is not included in the current budget nor in the 2012 spending plan passed last week by lawmakers. But the budget does give governors flexibility to spend money for disaster aid.

Nixon's budget director, Linda Luebbering, said it is too soon to know whether other parts of the budget will have to be cut to afford the disaster aid.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has also announced via a press release today that they will "speed federal disaster assistance to the State of Missouri and provide support to homeowners and low-income renters forced from their homes following severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding last month."

For more information on how HUD is providing assistance visit this link.



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