FEMA Visits Missouri to Assess Flood Damage

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WAYNESVILLE- FEMA officials started damage assessments on three of 18 Missouri counties Thursday. They went house to house to find out firsthand the extent of the floodwater's damage.

Three teams were sent out to Miller, Osage, and Pulaski counties to report on last week's flood's impact on businesses and homeowners. They visited mobile home communities where trailers had been washed into the street and observed damage to a school in Waynesville where floodwaters had torn up the sporting fields and recreation areas.

FEMA officials said it is too early to tell the complete severity of the damage, but they are optimistic. 

"There's a good sense of recovery," said FEMA representative Merideth Parrish. "Missourians particularly, they take care of themselves. They're trying to build back smarter and better."

Homeowners have started the rebuilding process, renting large dumpsters to get rid of debris, and moving appliances to higher ground.

Pulaski county resident Irene Daniels said the damage on her street was severe, describing the flood as a "billowing waterfall" throughout the area. She worried more about her neighbors across the street, where the road is sloped downward.

"All the people down the street on the right hand side, their houses were all flooding, and they couldn't have even rescued them if they would've tried," Daniels said. 

FEMA officials said residents returning to their homes should proceed with caution. They said online resources like FEMA and the American Red Cross can help homeowners avoid mold and other safety hazards.

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