President Obama Signs Missouri Disaster Declaration
COLUMBIA- Wednesday the President declared the Mid-Missouri blizzard and aftermath the first week of February a major disaster. Federal aid will be given for both state and local recovery efforts. Federal funding is available to the state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations.
However, the process has only begun according to Zim Schwartze, Director of the Office of Emergency Management in Columbia.
"It's a very long, complicated process now and so the event was the easy part, now starts the application process for assistance. Schwartze said, "Now it is a lot of paper work, it's a lot of statistics, it's a lot of compiling data from everyone."
Then the Public Assistance Coordinator for the state will conduct regional meetings across the impacted area. These applicants must fill out extensive documentation to be able to receive money. FEMA reviews the documentation and either approves or rejects the application. If approved, funding is awarded to the applicant at a 75% federal 25% local match.
The University of Missouri, various public works departments and the City of Columbia are all applying. The deadline for this is usually six months from the date of declaration. President Obama declared Oklahoma a disaster in February and has also declared Illinois' snowstorm a disaster.