Barry County eligible for federal disaster funds

Thursday, November 20, 2008

For the sixth time this year, President George Bush has issued a disaster declaration that includes Barry County.

Last Thursday, Barry County was among four southwest Missouri counties declared a major disaster due to the storms and flooding that hit the area between Sept. 11 and Sept. 14. As a result of the declaration, these counties are eligible for federal assistance.

Individual assistance is available to residents in Stone and Taney counties, while Barry and Christian counties qualify for assistance for state and local governments and certain private nonprofits.

"While no one wants to have to deal with the aftermath of natural disasters, this declaration will make the recovery process a little easier for these counties," said Congressman Roy Blunt, who announced the disaster declaration on Nov. 13. "I hope that every eligible resident and local government will take full advantage of this assistance so we can begin the process of rebuilding together."

On Tuesday, the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) conducted a public assistance briefing at the Barry County Courthouse in Cassville. During the briefing, officials were asked to complete and submit a Request for Public Assistance (RPA).

Local governments, special districts and certain non-profit organizations, such as utility, medical and public service agencies, can be reimbursed for their lifesaving protective measures, emergency work, debris removal and repair or replacement of critical infrastructure incurred during the disaster event.

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