06/19/2009 - Severe Storms, Tornadoes, and Flooding

In May 2009, Missouri experienced a strong storm system producing high winds, tornadoes, and flash flooding. A series of back to back severe storm systems created damage throughout much of the state. A total of seven people were killed and 21 sustained serious injuries. Utility companies and electric cooperatives reported more than 150,000 customers were without power at the peak of the storm. Several cities in southern Missouri were completely without power for nearly a week. Flooding and high winds caused widespread damage to roads, bridges and utility systems.

On May 8, Gov. Jay Nixon ordered activation of the State Emergency Operation Center. After being briefed on the storms by the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Gov. Nixon declared a state of emergency in Missouri.

Among the hardest hit areas were Carl Junction, Charity and Fair Grove. In Fair Grove, north of Springfield, high winds heavily damaged Fair Grove High School. In the next eight days, the destruction would spread to other parts of Missouri.

On May 20, Gov. Nixon requested a major disaster declaration, which President Barack Obama granted on June 19, 2010. This declaration included the Individual Assistance and the Public Assistance programs. The President also granted Small Business Administration disaster loans for qualifying businesses and primary homeowners as Gov. Nixon requested. Counties included in the disaster declaration are Adair, Barry, Barton, Bollinger, Camden, Cape Girardeau, Cedar, Christian, Crawford, Dade, Dallas, Dent, Douglas, Greene, Hickory, Howell, Iron, Jasper, Jefferson, Knox, Laclede, Lawrence, Lewis, Madison, Maries, Marion, Miller, Newton, Oregon, Ozark, Perry, Phelps, Polk, Pulaski, Rat, Reynolds, Ripley, St Francois, Ste Genevieve, Saline, Shannon, Shelby, Stone, Sullivan, Texas, Vernon, Washington, Wayne. Webster, and Wright.

The major disaster declaration provided public assistance to the affected counties for emergency protective measures, debris removal, and permanent work to repair or replace public facilities damaged by the severe storms. 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 primary 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.

  • 05/20/09 - Gov. Nixon requests major disaster declaration from the President for Missouri counties hit by May storm system
  • 06/19/09 - Gov. Nixon's request for major disaster declaration for counties hit by May storms granted by President Obama