Senator Cunningham’s Legislative Column: Additional Flooding Information

Cunningham Updated Banner March 2017

Last week’s flood waters have begun to recede and the true damage left behind is just starting to become clear. Citizens across the state are starting to seek resources to help them put their lives back together.

All resources available to Missourians from the state have been put into place. Many, including myself, are still waiting to hear if the president declares a federal state of emergency for those effected by last week’s flooding. Federal declaration of an emergency will allow for the most help to reach the most affected people.

Federal grants and other funds to help victims of disaster are held by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), however, the president must declare the area as a federal disaster zone to have those funds released.

Recently, Missouri lawmakers passed the Fiscal Year 2018 budget, which included an additional $4 million for the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA). The governor can use those funds on July 1, when the new fiscal year begins, however, there is no additional funding available in Missouri’s budget to help them until July 1.

Once the governor declared a state of emergency the process to get federal aid began too. A preliminary damage assessment must now be completed with both federal and state officials. The damage assessments must be completed within 30 days of the disaster. The decision is then up to the president, who our governor has already stated is behind us and willing to help Missourians.

There are other options for some Missourians seeking help for flood damage. The Internal Revenue Service allows for deductions for flood damage property. For more information visit The U.S. Department of Agriculture has some funding availed for farmers. For more information visit:

As clean-up begins, be sure to follow the advice of local law enforcement for when it is safe to return to your homes. For more clean-up information, visit:

As always, I appreciate it when groups from around Missouri and from our community back home come to visit me at the Capitol. If you would like to arrange a time to come and visit me in Jefferson City, or if you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact my Capitol office at (573) 751-1882.