03/12/2008 - Severe Winter Storms and Flooding

In February 2008, Missouri was struck by a severe winter weather storm system that generated ice, sleet, snow, heavy rain, and frigid temperatures. Two inches of ice were reported in some areas, along with two to four inches of snow. Two were left dead, while 54 individuals were injured as a direct result of this storm. Utility companies reported that more than 41,000 customers lost power, depriving residents of heat, light, and water during the below freezing weather conditions.

On Feb. 11, Gov. Matt Blunt ordered activation of the State Emergencies Operation Plan. On the same day, Gov. Blunt declared a state of emergency in Missouri.

On Feb. 19, Gov. Blunt requested joint federal, state, and local damage assessments in those counties directly affected by the severe storm in Missouri. The Missouri National Guard activated 30 soldiers to assist residents. There were also 10 shelters established in six of the hardest hit counties which supported more than 150 people, along with numerous warming shelters that were opened in public and private facilities throughout the area.

On Feb. 29, Gov. Blunt requested that a major disaster be declared in Missouri as a result of the severe winter weather. President George Bush granted that request on March 12, providing federal public assistance for Bollinger, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Carter, Christian, Douglas, Greene, Madison, Mississippi, Ozark, Reynolds, Scott, Shannon, Stoddard, Texas, Wayne, Webster and Wright counties.

The major disaster declaration provided public assistance to the affected counties for emergency protective measures, debris removal, and permanent work to repair or replace facilities damaged by the severe storms. FEMA’s Public Assistance program provides federal funds to reimburse 75 percent of the costs for removing debris, conducting emergency activities and repairing roads, bridges, utility and water control facilities, public buildings and parks.

More information on this disaster is available on FEMA's website.