CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Missouri Governor Mike Parson is pushing for a disaster declaration that would give several Southeast Missouri counties FEMA money to help pay for ongoing flood damage.
Local counties already on the list to receive federal funding are Mississippi, New Madrid, Perry and Ste. Genevieve.
Glenn Ault is a lifelong resident of Mississippi County and owns property along the river.
He says Spring river flooding is ripping apart roads and levees the surrounding farming community relies on.
“We’re talking millions of dollars of damage,” Ault said. “We have Highway VV in Mississippi County. There is a 20-foot hole in the road. The water took the black top out and put it out in the field. We actually have a secondary levee that had about a 20 feet on it and it looks like it cracked right down the middle and slid to one side.”
Presiding County Commissioner James Conn says FEMA and SEMA saw the damage first hand during a visit to the area a few weeks ago.
He says they can not afford the repairs without some assistance.
“They were very receptive of our needs and willing to listen to us and guide us through the process,” Conn said. “I think it’s a given that we will get funding of some sort. The amount, that remains to be seen.”
Conn says the reason why is because some areas can not inspected for damage until the high water goes down and more flooding could be on its way.
“It continues and we won’t relax until it drops,” Conn said. “The snow melt issue, it’s going to occur. If it’s gradual we probably can handle it, but if it’s all of sudden. I don’t know. We’re the only spillway in the state of Missouri. In 2011 the Bird’s Point levee was activated in early May and in most cases farmers were able to get a crop in. Now, if it were to be activated in June, it takes out hundreds of thousands of acres out of production.”
Conn assumes that the assessment stage will take another two months before they submit a final damage report to FEMA.