05/23/2008 - Severe Storms and Tornadoes

In May 2008, western and southern regions of Missouri were impacted by a strong storm system that produced tornadoes, high winds, and flooding across the area. The storm was responsible for 16 deaths and over 200 storm related injuries. Utility companies reported that over 9,000 customers lost power, leaving some customers without power for as much as five days. More than 150 homes were destroyed, 58 homes had major damage, 258 homes had minor damage, and 80 other homes were affected by the storm. Three shelters were established by the Red Cross and Salvation Army, but most individuals stayed with friends or family and only went to the shelters during the day to get emergency supplies.

As a result of previous storms experienced by Missouri, the State of Emergency Operations Plan had been activated since April 1 as requested by Gov. Matt Blunt. On April 29, Gov. Blunt extended the orders through June 1.

On May 16, Gov. Blunt requested that President George Bush declare a major disaster for the state of Missouri, requesting both Public and Individual Assistance.

On May 23, President Bush granted the request for a major disaster declaration, and approved Barry, Jasper, and Newton counties for Public and Individual Assistance.  The President also granted Small Business Administration disaster loans for qualifying business and homeowners, as Gov. Blunt requested.

The major disaster declaration provided individual 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.

FEMA’s Individual Assistance Program provides disaster assistance for individuals and households affected by declared disasters. This includes the cost of repairs and replacements not covered by insurance on homes and vehicles affected by the disaster, temporary housing for those left without a home, disaster related medical and dental care, disaster related funeral and burial costs, moving and storage costs, crisis counseling and any other expenses determined necessary by FEMA.

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