Seven Central MO counties among those seeking funding

Missouri is once again asking the federal government to expand a disaster declaration to include 14 more counties along with the city of St. Louis.

In a letter sent yesterday, the state says preliminary assessments have identified more than $14-million of emergency response costs and damage to public infrastructure in those jurisdictions.  The $14-million is on top of almost $50-million previously identified in 68 other counties that ultimately received approval.

The Mid-Missouri counties listed in the latest request include Benton, Boone, Callaway, Cooper, Gasconade, Howard, and Pulaski Counties.

Howard County Co-Emergency Management Director Bryan Kunze says the fact his county has repeatedly been denied individual FEMA assistance may actually be a good thing.

"It's kind of a double-edged sword.  We didn't have enough damage to get declared for a federal emergency for individuals with water in their homes, but it's also a good thing because that means we didn't have that many homes that were actually damaged."

There are three types of assistance FEMA can grant; one is for individuals, the second is for small businesses, and the last is public assistance to help with infrastructure such as roads and bridges.