SEMA says flooding in Missouri is in a period of stablization
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri lawmakers were given an update on the state of the flooding disaster that swept through Missouri this spring.
SEMA Director Ron Walker spoke to the Joint Committee on Disaster Preparedness and Awareness on Tuesday afternoon. There are flood warnings still in place for counties throughout Missouri.
"Ours was river flooding and, a lot of times, the damage is under the water," Walker said. "You can’t see it for some period of time, so it takes a while to assess those damages and provide that information."
Walker said SEMA is still waiting on a federal disaster declaration that Gov. Mike Parson requested at the end of April. President Donald Trump has not responded to yet. But Walker said he was "expecting a call at any time."
Missouri has hit the allotted $8.9 million damage threshold required for a declaration. Walker said the state is in a period of stabilization, meaning no major flood events have occurred. If more come, the state would have to file a new declaration.
"This would be a new event so we are watching for damages that might be occurring from river damages and floods that might be occurring that have impacted the state," Walker said.
Jerry Perslues, who has lived in Missouri all his life and worked on bridges and levees throughout the state said he has been impressed with the flooding response in Jefferson City, even though it was not hit as hard as other areas.
But, he said, it's too soon to breathe a complete sigh of relief.
"Its amazing to see the Missouri river and Jefferson City at its stage to be holding like it is," said Perslues. "But the next 48 hours could tell a lot of stories from what is going to happen in Kansas City and what is to come."